DREDGING OF the Naboc River, which is contaminated with mercury and cyanide due to mining activities in Mt. Diwalawal, is targeted to start by October as part of the ongoing rehabilitation program. Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao (DENR-11) Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan, in a statement Friday, said the “dredging activity will start on October this year and we aim to finish it before July of next year.” DENR-11 and the Compostela Valley provincial government have signed a Joint Special Order creating a technical working group (TWG) and working committees tasked to formulate and implement the Naboc River Rehabilitation Master Plan. The rehabilitation program, a priority project of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, was formally launched last July 16 through the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the DENR and the provincial government. Compostela Valley Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyrone L. Uy, for his part, said, “We hope that our timeline will be met so we could finally gain a step ahead in rehabilitating Naboc River.” In March this year, ball mill facilities for gold ore extracted from Mt. Diwalwal were given the final notice to move out and transfer to the government-designated site. The ball mill operators were first ordered to transfer in 2003 following the issuance of Executive Order No. 217. The Department of Science and Technology-Region 11, together with the University of the Philippines, is also setting up a mineral processing plant in Nabunturan that does not use mercury and cyanide.