Partial resumption of Dungon Creek dredging ok’d

November 11, 2009 11:27 pm 

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 – Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-NGB) has already issued a clearance for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to proceed with the dredging of Dungon Creek.

DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources officer Bernabe Garnace said the clearance to cut trees is only limited to the dredging works in Sta. Rosa, Mandurriao which is near Brgy. Dungong A.

Garnace said the permit to cut trees does not include the cutting of mangroves along the river banks. There are only a few trees which will be affected as soon as the contractor of the project resumes their work.

The mangroves are protected by Philippine laws. Cutting and destruction of the mangroves is prohibited.

The issuance of the clearance to cut trees will ensure that proper procedures are observed before the project implementation. The environment department assessed the covered area before the issuance of the permit, said Garnace.

The contractor of the Dungon creek dredging is WTG, a Cebu-based construction firm. It was reportedly subcontracted by the International Builders Corporation (IBC).

He said there are conditions stipulated in the issuance of the permit to cut trees which spare the mangroves from destruction. The permit is not a guarantee for the contractor to cut and destroy the mangroves.

The contractor is also bound to ask the permission of the tree owners before cutting it. There are trees grown by residents which are included in the areas to dredge, he said.

Garnace clarified the clearance to cut trees is limited in Sta. Rosa and do not cover the resumption of dredging works in Bolilao, Mandurriao. The case filed by the Bolilao Empowerment Neighborhood Association (BOENA) for mangrove destruction is still pending before the DENR.

The complaint stalled the implementation of the dredging work for more than a month. Different species of mangroves to include "pagatpat", "bungalon", "bakhawon" as well as nipa palms were destroyed by the contractor.

The staging area for dredging works will shift from Bolilao to Sta. Rosa because of the pending case. DPWH has designed a program by splitting the work in different staging areas. (PNA)

FFC/AJP/MMC/vlo

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