Galing Pook award for Iloilo river rehab project
ILOILO CITY – This city received the 2018 Galing Pook Awards for the restoration project of the Iloilo-Batiano River.
Mayor Jose Espinosa III on Thursday received the award for the city in Manila.
The 13-kilometer river that traverses Iloilo City and neighboring Oton town was once a dying body of water, where sewage and other garbage were dumped.
In March 2011, Senator Franklin Drilon initiated a public-private partnership (PPP) project aimed at reversing the river’s degradation.
The phase-by-phase rehabilitation included removal of illegal fish pens, houses on stilts and abandoned vessels.
Continuous dredging of creeks and mangrove reforestation were likewise carried out.
Another project component was the creation of the river park, the Iloilo Esplanade.
The project implemented first during the time of former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog had the backing of the Iloilo provincial government, Oton local government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and private organizations.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and former DENR secretary Ramon Paje both called for similar river’s rehabilitation projects nationwide.