DENR launches “RIVERS For Life awards”for ‘19

Consistent with the idea of shared ownership to make communities realize a better environment management and conservation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launches in Bohol its awards Recognizing Individuals and Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERS).
The awards, formally called Rivers for Life would be given out to the best rehabilitated and most improved water quality from the country’s class 3 rivers, this June 2019 in time for the DER’s 32nd anniversary, authorities from the government’s environment agency shared.
The program is basically to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve the country’s rivers as the lifeblood of the earth and human civilization, and taking the cue from Manila Bay clean-up, tap concerted action to protect the country’s rivers from degradation and pollution and assure their suitability, sustainability and further improvement, explains Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Charlie Fabre at the Kapihansa PIA Thursday.
Aware that the government could not lend a presence enough to cover the protection and management of the entire river systems in the country, this time it looks at communities and stakeholders to help them come up with appropriate mitigation measures and interventions to help address the continued worsening conditions of river systems nationwide, the DENR official said.
Earlier, the DENR PENROs and Community ENROs submitted an inventory of all rivers in their respective areas of responsibility and from these, the DENR regional committee selected class C rivers for adoption.
According to the DENR, Class C rivers are those which may not be safe for swimming owing to the presence less than 100 coliform presence in the water.
The goal, Fabre reiterates is to improve the water quality that flows to the ocean to at least an upgrade into Class B, which is now safe from swimming and other water activities.
He reiterated that the problem with these identified rivers however are not as complex as the headwaters from which these rivers get their flow is still classified class A, which means the quality is good that people can drink from it.
In Bohol, the class C rivers which have been identified for adoption and are now official entries into the regional search for the best managed rivers are Abatan which flows from its headwaters in Calape, San Isidro, Catigbian to the estuaries in Cortes-Maribojoc, Wahig, which flows from as far as Pilar, Sierra Bullones to the Inabanga water basin and in the south is Manaba River which flows from Garcia Hernandez to the seas.
According to DENR’s MarcialUgay, PENRO, which has in its jurisdiction a class C river Abaran adopts the Cortes River for the RIVERS project, CENRO Tagbilaran picks Manaba River in Garcia Hernandez and CENRO Talibon adopts Wahig.
The DENR offices here have initiated the activities that would bring in the possibility of these adopted rivers to be picked in the regional competitions to for the adopted body of water to flow into the national finals and be hailed best rehabilitated body of water.
The activities to be implemented by the DENR and its horde of volunteers include aesthetic and water quality improvement which uses a baseline data and includes monthly water quality sampling for a year, solid waste management data of the place, partnership and community mobilization including documents on Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs), partnerships and other engagements.
Judging would also include conducted and programmed information and education campaigns complete with documentation and copies of IEC materials produced, all of these to be considered for the June 2019 awarding ceremonies. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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