REHABILITATION of the 9.1 kilometer Mahiga River in Cebu province will be conducted in partnership with 28 private companies and organizations, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

On July 21, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo C. Labella and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas C. Cortes, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the various partners.

The rehabilitation will take place under the DENR’s “Adopt-an Estero/Water body” program, which enlists private entities in clearing out waste, debris, and silt from the water system.

Under the agreement, the partners will “adopt” the Mahiga River and come up with a program to reduce the pollution load on the river and its tributaries.

Environmental Management Bureau Region 7 Director Lormelyn E. Claudio said the river’s deterioration poses health and safety risks for the communities along its banks.

“Mahiga River Creek is a critical waterway in the city and its current condition requires intensified action from all stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of all rehabilitation measures,” Ms. Claudio said.

Cebu City and Mandaue City will establish integrated solid, healthcare, and household hazardous waste management systems under the agreement.

Meanwhile the DENR will monitor industrial and commercial establishments and perform regular water quality monitoring. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave