Mandaue comes up with 5-year plan to rehabilitate two rivers

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OFFICIALS of the Mandaue City Environment and Natural Resources Office (MCENRO) have come up with a five-year integrated plan for the rehabilitation of the city’s two major river systems, the Mahiga Creek and the 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 city’s river boards, and the Mandaue City Council.

The Integrated River Rehabilitation Plan (IRRP) is set to be implemented starting this year and will end by 2027. It will cover five focus areas: social preparation, informal settlement, physical planning, slope protection and flood control, and water quality.

Barlam said MCENRO, with its partner agencies, believe that these five areas are the essential key factors needed to gradually revive the two rivers.

Social preparation entails increasing the awareness level of the river community, especially among those situated along the danger zones, 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.

The plan will also prioritize relocating residents living in the rivers’ danger zones by offering them decent housing programs facilitated by the Housing and Urban Development Office under the plan’s informal settlement factor.

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 protecting Butuanon and Mahiga’s river banks and river dredging facilitated by the CPDO and the City Engineer’s Office in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

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

Barlam said these programs would specifically penetrate Mandaue City’s 13 river barangays, including Paknaan and Umapad near the downstream, Ibabao-estancia and Alang-alang in the middle, and Maguikay and Tabok in the upper stream.

She added that they set to meet with the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) to share their gathered data, particularly with the Butuanon River, to strengthen their rehabilitation program in November.

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