Provincial Government of Bulacan

Senators, solons pledge to help save dying rivers in Bulacan

ENVIRONMENT ADVOCATES. Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando of the Provincial Government of Bulacan lead the Consultative and Coordination Meeting for Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS), together with the different concern local government units including (far left) Mayor Edwin Santos of Obando and (far right) Mayor Juanito Santiago of Marilao and Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Cynthia Villar held at Dencio’s Bar and Restaurant Harbour Square, CCP Complex, Pasay City, Manila yesterday.

CITY OF MALOLOS – Senators Cynthia Villar and Sherwin Gatchalian have committed to render assistance in the rehabilitation of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS) which was once identified by Blacksmith Institute as among the severely polluted rivers in the world.

This was the result of Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado’s urgent call to have a dialogue with the concern local government units and other stakeholders to revive the river system wherein the 10-year action plan and the accomplishments of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau 3 was presented during the Consultative Coordination Meeting on MMORS held at Dencio’s Bar and Restaurant, Harbor Square CCP Complex, Manila yesterday.

Alvarado further said that the plan should really be translated into action and called for the confirmation of commitment from public officials, concerned government agencies and private groups who attended the said meeting.

“This is a cluster of an ecosystem, hindi pwedeng isa lang ang kikilos, collective efforts ito. Ang kailangan ay pagmamalasakitan, walang turuan, walang sisihan at ako’y naniniwalang maisasalba natin ang kailugang ito,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, Senator Villar volunteered to help in the said rehabilitation by educating the stakeholders about converting the wastes in the rivers to become livelihood for the people.

“In Las Piñas, I spent 15 years of my life cleaning the river kasi tinanggap ko na sa sarili ko noon na ako na ‘yon, hindi ko na sisisihin ang iba na kasi ‘yung dumi nila sa akin napupunta. Magsimula tayong gumawa ng livelihood projects out of waste, tutulungan namin kayo, ng Department of Agriculture, ng DPWH,” the lady senator said.

She added that water lilies can be weaved, coconut husks can be used for slope protection instead of cement, the piths can be turned to charcoals, biodegradable wastes can be fertilizers and plastics can be made into school chairs.

“Kapag nakikita ng mga tao na may makukuha sila sa pag-iipon ng mga basura na ‘to, kahit sila hindi na magtatapon, kukunin na nila ‘yon at pagkakakitaan. Sa amin, ang isang tao kumikita ng P13,000 sa isang bwan, binabayaran sila depende sa dami ng nagagawa nila galing sa water lily,” Villar added.

On the other hand, Senator Gatchalian said that intervention is necessary to solve the problem and he is committed to help the project until the end.

“The sooner we receive the resolution, the better. Isa itong sistema and we need holistic approach. Kahit mag-invest tayo ng P1B for dredging, baka after two years lang balik na naman tayo sa original na problema. We need permanent administration and strict enforcement, ma-sanction ang mga hindi umaaksyon,” Gatchalian said.
Before the meeting ended, Bulacan was able to gather support and pledges such as dredging, backhoes, amphibious excavator, and river patrols from different agencies including the Department of Public Works and Highways and DENR-EMB.

Also present in the event were Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando, Board Member Perlita delos Santos, Mayor Edwin Santos of Obando, Mayor Juanito H. Santiago of Marilao and representatives from Blacksmith Institute, DENR-RO3, EMB, and DPWH.