By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY – The dredging operations in Naboc River, which runs near the mining site in Barangay Mt. Diwata, Monkayo, Davao de Oro, will finally commence this month as part of the rehabilitation program ordered by President Duterte.
The Provincial Task Force Naboc River has granted permits to nine contractors from the province on Thursday afternoon to dredge the contaminated river.
In a press conference, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary Ruth M. Tawantawan said these contractors will immediately begin the dredging operations which should be completed in six months.
“They are ready even before, but they were just waiting for the legal authority to dredge and now it has been given to them,” she said.
Tawantawan said each contractor will dredge four hectares per river quarry blocks as identified by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
She said whatever income the dredgers will get from the excavated sand and gravel will be awarded to the contractors since these were already considered as waste.
The official said the dredging was supposed to start in January and will end June of this year before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte.
Meanwhile, Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyrone L. Uy appealed to ball mill operating in Mt. Diwata to transfer to Sitio Mabatas, Barangay Upper Ulip as the rehabilitation of the river commences.
Uy said there were still some ball mills operating in the area which were asking him to give them more time to process and extract their remaining mines in the area.
“Akong gipaabot ang mensahe didto nga dili na mo sugot ta niana because isa na ka tuig. March 15 pa last year, almost one year na ang gihatag (I told them that they will not be allowed to extend because they were already given almost one year to transfer. We sent them a notice since March 15 last year),” he said.
The governor said it would be unfair for other operators who already operated in Sitio Mabatas if these group will be allowed to extend for another time.
He said the river has been polluted for 25 years because of the exploitation of some people without thinking of the hazards they made.