Mandaue bares rehab plan for Mahiga creek, Butuanon river

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THE Mandaue City Environment and Natural Resources Office (MCENRO) has come up with a five-year integrated plan for the rehabilitation of the Mahiga Creek and Butuanon River.

Araceli Barlam, MCENRO head, told reporters on Thursday, July 21, 2022, that the plan was approved in January last year under the Performance Governance System (PGS), the river boards, and the city council.

The plan called the Integrated River Rehabilitation Plan (IRRP), will start this year and will end until 2027.

It will cover five focus areas: social preparation, informal settlement, physical planning, slope protection and flood control, and water quality.

Barlam said they believe that these five areas are the essential key factors needed in rehabilitating the two rivers.

Social preparation entails increasing the level of awareness among the people living near the river regarding water pollution and defining the role of each stakeholder (the government and the citizens) in the development of both Butuanon and Mahiga, which will be facilitated by the Office of Strategy Management (OSM).

Those people living within the rivers' danger zones will be offered to relocate to housing units that will be facilitated by the Housing and Urban Development Office (HUDO).

Physical planning, which will focus on improving the physical, social, and economic welfare of both rivers and their dwellers, is headed by the City Planning Development Office (CPDO).

Slope protection and flood control will emphasize the riprapping of Butuanon and Mahiga's riparian zones and river dredging that will be facilitated by the CPDO and the City Engineer's Office in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Lastly, water quality, which will be facilitated by the MCENRO with the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), will focus on the screening and monitoring of the water quality of both rivers.

Barlam said the rehabilitation program also includes the city's rivers in barangays Paknaan and Umapad in the downstream, Ibabao-estancia and Alang-alang in the middle stream, and Maguikay and Tabok in the upper stream.

She added that they are set to meet with their counterparts from Cebu City to share with them the data that they gathered from the Butuanon River to strengthen their rehabilitation program in November.

The 10-kilometer Butuanon river starts from the mountains in upper Cebu City, crosses Mandaue City, then drains into the Mactan Channel. (HIC)

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