Consistent with his 10-point agenda, which includes achieving clean water for all, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu urged the continuous rehabilitation of Boac and Mogpog Riversin Marinduqueas he led the unveiling of the centennial monument that marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration ofthe independence of the province by virtue of Republic Act No. 2880 issued on February 21, 1920.

In his speechas guest of honor during Marinduque’s centennial celebration on February 19, Cimatu expressed the urgency to restore these bodies of waterwhich greatly suffered from the toxic mine wastes spilled by the ruptured drainage tunnels of the open pit of Marcopper Mining Corporation on March 24, 1996. The incident was considered as one of the biggest mining disasters in the country.

In line with this, the DENR Secretary will issue an administrative order pertaining to the proper dredging and other efforts to clean and restore the rivers.

“Through the years, this province has endured many trials and difficulties, yet it survived--the reason we are celebrating what we call ‘Sentenaryo ng Marinduque,’” Cimatu said.

He added that while it is normal to look back on what happened, the people of Marinduque must assess the impact of the mining disaster on their lives and reflect on what they can contribute to improve the province.

R4B Cimatu urges rehab of Mogpog Boac rivers during Marinduques 100th anniversary2

“The question now should be, “Are we contented with the present state of this province or do we still want to move ahead and achieve a better Marinduque, one that is more resilient?,” Cimatu asked.

The Secretary explained that to foster development, the people of Marinduque must be ready to accept one big challenge to sustain their God-given natural riches and for them to secure the province’s next generations.

“The protection of the environment and all other natural resources is not the sole responsibility of the DENR but a shared responsibility among various stakeholders,” he stated.

Since Marinduque tops the list of 10 provinces that are most susceptible to landslides based on the study conducted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Cimatu pointed out that it is imperative that local government units (LGUs) consider preventive or mitigating measures in their local disaster-preparedness plan.

He also urged theLGU to ensurethe establishment and operation of a sanitary landfill to address garbage collection and disposal issues in the province.

“I believe that with the very competent leaders of this province, all problems and issues on the environment will be resolved,” Cimatu said as he recognized DENR’s partnership with the local government of Marinduque led by Representative Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Governor Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Vice-Governor Romulo A. Bacorro Jr., and the members of Sanguniang Panlalawigan,who were present in the event.

R4B Cimatu urges rehab of Mogpog Boac rivers during Marinduques 100th anniversary3

Cimatu also ordered the DENR officials and employees in the region to conduct regular monitoring and inspection of air and water quality, as well as solid waste managementin the municipalities of Marinduque, name

“Marinduque is bestly Boac, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Sta. Cruz and Torrijos.

owed with God-given natural resources. Its beauty is a big potential for ecotourism and other types of development. I believe that economic growth espoused with environmental and social justice

“Marinduquenos, aim for a better, progressive and more resilient province! If you want real change, then work for it. Work hard with us!” the Secretary concluded. is the real “development” because when there is social justice, there is progress,”Cimatu said

The DENR Secretary was joined in the celebration by Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Acting Director Wilfredo Moncano, DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Henry Adornado, MGB MIMAROPA Regional Director Roland De Jesus and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Imelda M. Diaz.###