The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 has assured the public that the dredging of the mouth of the Cagayan River in Aparri, Cagayan will be strictly monitored.
The dredging of the heavily-silted Cagayan River is part of the government efforts for the restoration of the country’s longest and biggest river through a partnership with private operator-dredgers.
In the kick-off activity for the dredging of the navigational channel held earlier in Aparri town, environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the regional heads of the DENR, Environmental Management Bureau, and Mines and Geosciences Bureau to ensure that the private contractors adhere to the memorandum of agreement (MOA) and comply with environmental laws.
According to DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, the establishment of the eight-kilometer common navigational channel within the River Dredging Zone will provide private contractors access to segments 3, 5 and 7 of phase 1.
This is consistent with the comprehensive dredging plan prepared by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and approved by the Inter-Agency Committee chaired by Gov. Manuel Mamba.
On Dec. 10 last year, Director Bambalan signed the two-year project agreement on the Cagayan River Restoration Project with private operator-dredgers, the Great River North Consortium and Riverfront Construction, Inc.
The dredging operations at the mouth of the Cagayan River will be done simultaneously with the removal of sandbars by administration initiated by the Build Back Better Task Force.
Per report of the DPWH during the site inspection by Secretary Cimatu and Secretary Mark Villar, the removal of sandbars along the Magapit Narrows is now 80.39 percent complete with a total volume of 276,795 cubic meters excavated.
“Aside from the removal of sandbars, we have already produced more than 156,000 bamboos and indigenous species for planting in 585 hectares of identified sites for riverbank stabilization along the Cagayan River and its tributaries,” Director Bambalan said.
The DENR in partnership with stakeholders has initially planted more or less 84 hectares.
Director Bambalan added that the DENR survey team is now ready for deployment to work on the easement recovery along the Cagayan River.#