Malacon: Those opposed are ‘ignorant of the project’
Following a public hearing led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) earlier this week, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon announced their declogging and desilting project for the Imbang, Madalaga, and Malogo Rivers will proceed. Through desilting, materials that may obstruct the flow of water are extracted from the riverbed, which is expected to reduce the risk of flooding.
The mayor said, while they await the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate from DENR, the project will likely commence in the second quarter.
He explained, the project timeline will depend on the capacity of the ship and where the gathered material from dredging will be transferred.
“It will also depend on the weather conditions,” the mayor added.
Meanwhile, Malacon said the project contractor is required to pay taxes to the government; while 30 percent of the income goes to the municipal government and another 30 percent to the affected barangays.
The mayor explained, the local government will “ensure utilization is regulated and the people benefit from it.”
In response to environmental groups that attended the hearing and expressed opposition to the project, Malacon said they are “ignorant of the project.”
“They kept on asking the same questions, some of which were irrelevant and nonsense,” he stated.
The mayor also announced a dredging ship composed of around 30 Chinese nationals is already on its way to the Philippines after undergoing quarantine in Singapore.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines dredging as “the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water bodies” and called it “a routine necessity in waterways around the world because sedimentation—the natural process of sand and silt washing downstream—gradually fills channels and harbors.”
They also discussed how sediment gathered around population areas can be contaminated with pollutants.
They explained, “These pollutants are introduced to waterways from point sources such as sewer overflows, municipal and industrial discharges, and spills; or may be introduced from non-point sources such as surface runoff and atmospheric deposition.”/DGB, WDJ