By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY – A total of 10,692 kilos of trash were hauled from the Panay River, the 152-kilometer river system of Capiz province.
Ruel De Los Reyes, chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR Capiz) said the trash haul was mainly taken from Roxas City, the provincial capital.
Majority of the trash collected by volunteers were plastic. Earlier findings by the DENR Capiz found that uncontrolled disposal of garbage along the riverbanks, particularly in Roxas City, led to the presence of high coliform bacteria.
Water pollution also poses a risk to the river that is classified as an important body of water for the province which is known as the country’s seafood capital. In particular, oysters are grown and harvested along riverbanks.
DENR Capiz backs the Save Panay River Council and Task Force initiated by Capiz Governor Antonio Del Rosario in 2016. The public–private partnerships (PPP) approach is meant to curb environmental woes from lack of formal sewage systems by hospitals, businesses, and other informal settlers.
De Los Reyes added that continuous river cleanup is also mandated under the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 which is one of the priorities of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.