No foreign contractors will be allowed to dredge the Cagayan River even for free, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary, Roy Cimatu, said last week.
“We have a ruling that there will be no foreign contractors here, they should be all Filipinos who have a construction company and this is really a part of our river restoration projects all over the country,” said Cimatu.
“This is not only in Cagayan River, all rivers that need to be restored, we are allowing contractors to dredge the river for free but they can get their – whatever stunts they will be able to get there – so they can also recover their cost of dredging.”
Cimatu also added that, even the dredging will be done for free, a memorandum of agreement is needed to ensure the work will be done properly by the contractor.
According to the secretary, governors in Cagayan Valley will sign the agreement with the contractors since the dredging project involves several provinces along the Cagayan River.
Cimatu also said that contractors still need to secure clearances and pay the 4pct excise tax to the government.
The heavily silted Cagayan River, the longest and the largest by discharge volume of water in the country, needs dredging to prevent a repeat of the massive flooding in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela during successive typhoons last month, concluded the Secretary.