A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and two operator-dredgers for the rehabilitation of the Cagayan River was inked earlier this week, meaning that this very important project will start soon, reports the Philippine News Agency.
The MOA on the Cagayan River Restoration Project was signed by DENR through Cagayan Valley regional executive director Gwendolyn Bambalan and the Great River North Consortium managing head Antonio Talaue, and president Feng Li of Riverfront Construction Incorporated.
In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the dredging of heavily silted rivers in the Philippines including the Cagayan River, the country’s longest and biggest river.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu issued last February 27, DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2020-07 rationalizing dredging activities in heavily silted river channels in the country to help restore their natural state and water flow and reduce flooding, and to protect and properly manage the disposition of sand.
The DAO also requires a holder of an approved dredging clearance to apply for an authority to dispose of extracted material from the River Dredging Zone through a memorandum of agreement with the DENR Regional Office.
It further states that to open up heavily-silted river channels, areas starting from the coastline of river deltas extending all the way upstream, following the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Dredging Master Plan, will be designated as exclusive River Dredging Zones by the Interagency Committee (IAC).
For Cagayan River, the IAC has approved the River Dredging Plan covering 30.8 kilometers as River Dredging Zone.
Under the MOA, the DENR will conduct survey of non-metallic and metallic resources in the River Dredging Zone to determine metallic and other valuable materials in economic quantities.
Also, they will monitor the operation of the operator-dredger to ensure faithful compliance with applicable environmental laws, rules and regulations.