Gal­ing Pook award for Iloilo river re­hab project

Manila Bulletin - - Visayas News - By TARA YAP

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.

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