DENR starts rehabilitation of Malandog river in Antique

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 is gearing up for the massive clean-up and rehabilitation of Malandog river in Hamtic, Antique.

This, after receiving a marching order from DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, who earlier visited Iloilo to inspect and learn from the city government of Iloilo of how it has rehabilitated and sustained the environmental integrity of the Iloilo river.

“I want to make the Iloilo river to be a model of how we can rehabilitate our rivers nationwide, especially in Metro Manila,” Cimatu said.

In his talk to DENR regional officials and personnel, Cimatu underscored the mandate of the agency and the laws it has to enforce to ensure the protection of the environment.

“The DENR is mandated to implement the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. These (laws) were passed to protect the environment.”

Last April 28, the DENR through its Environmental Management Bureau-Region 6 has enjoined the local government of San Jose, Antique and the Advance Central College (CAA) to undertake a regular and sustained cleanup and rehabilitation of Malandog river under its “Adopt-an-Estero” program

“Malandog river was recently a beneficiary to a joint clean up agreement among the local government of San Jose, Antique, the Advance Central College and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) – Region 6 under the department’s Adopt-an-Estero program,” DENR-Region 6 Jim Sampulna said.

Sampulna described the Adopt-An-Estero program as a collaborative undertaking between and among the estero communities near the river; the donor partners which will provide the workforce for clean-up activities - San Raphael & San Antonio Ice Plant and Cold Storage, ACC, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Philippines-International; LGU San Jose; and the DENR-EMB, to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier Malandog river.

Under the agreement, a comprehensive program on pollution reduction will be implemented, including the conduct of dredging and desilting, as the river has deteriorated due to siltation and pollution.

Part of the planned rehabilitation of Malandog is the adoption of combined eco-friendly and engineering interventions like phyto-remediation, construction of wetlands, planting of bamboos and other plant species along the river banks, rip-rapping or coco-matting and construction and greening of linear parks.

To Antiqueños, Malandog River is historically important to them as this is where the first Malayan settlers landed in 1200 A.D.

The river has also served as a venue of Antique’s annual festival called Tiringbanay which means “tiringub” or “to be together” – a celebration of the homecoming of San Josenhons (residents of San Jose) and the togetherness of families in honor of its patron saint, St. Joseph the Worker. ###