Naboc River still choked with heavy metals; EMB XI Reports

11-21 naboc river still choked with heavy metals emb xi reports

The result of DENR-Environment Management Bureau’s (EMB) 3rd Quarter Water Quality Monitoring of the Naboc River exposes that said river still contains hazardous chemicals and heavy metals that exceeded the water quality criterion for Class C Waters.

The Naboc River in Monkayo, Compostela Valley has been a gold-mining spot since 1980s. The extraction of gold through mining has been entwined in the community since then. These mining activities generated toxic wastes that causes several detrimental impacts to the community- health hazards included and the now chemically-choked waterways of Naboc River.

The EMB XI continuously conducts monthly assessment of the river’s water condition through its eight (8) monitoring stations. These are established at Naboc River (at the mouth of the river, at the foot of Naboc Bridge, at the foot of NIA Dam and in approximately 50 meters upstream from the confluence of Naboc River & Tabaka River), and at its tributaries, Tabaka River, Buenas and Balite Creeks.

The recent assessment shows that most of the stations still contain high concentration of chemicals such as mercury and cyanide which could be attributed to the ore processing plants operations in Mt. Diwalwal.

According to the water criterion for Class C waters, the mercury level must conform with the 0.002 mg/L safety level but it alarmingly reached as high as 0.026 mg/L. For cyanide, it reached 6.796 mg/L which encompasses the 0.1 mg/L water criterion.

The river is also in high level of fecal coliform but is mainly due to the communities that are concentrated along the riverbanks and has no toilets and septic tanks.

The data gathered by the EMB serves as a reference for the DENR XI’s rehabilitation of the Naboc River. It is currently one of the department’s priority programs through its “Lihok Alang sa Naboc” work slogan. It is an operation that aims to clean up the river, reinforce mining regulations in Monkayo and to push hazard-free environment in the area.


Avian Migrants found haven in Davao Region

A large number of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) sighted in Malalag mudflats.  Photo courtesy of DENR XI- Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMCS) team.

Hundreds to thousands of migratory waterbirds were logged during the conduct of Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), a program that aims to monitor and record bird sightings across the globe. It was conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) in the early weeks of January 2020, in Davao Region’s six (6) monitoring sites – Malalag mudflats in Davao del Sur, Bucana in Davao City, Banay-banay in Davao Oriental and in Panabo, Carmen and Tagum in Davao del Norte.

AWC is an annual event which takes place during the second and third weeks of January.

In Malalag, about a thousand of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) were sighted, along with hundreds of Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus) and Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida). A small number of Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), an endangered species was also sighted.

Moreso in Carmen Coastal Wetland, a few of nearly threatened species such as Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) were also seen. With them are some Whiskered Terns also flocking in the area. The latter species were also spotted in its neighboring Coastland Wetland in Panabo along with hundreds of Little Egret and Pied Stilts.

Meanwhile in Banay-bay, White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) and Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) were recorded, just a few compared to the thousands of Pied Stilts that landed in the area. In the same area, a few Philippine Ducks (Anas luzonica), the sole endemic species were also spotted flying overhead. Philippine Ducks is one of our very own families of birds which are unfortunately listed as vulnerable because of its small population.

As Philippines is one of the avian migrants’ flyways or routes in East Asia/Australasia, these avian migrants fly from their origin all the way to the lands of Davao Region to find a better habitat that will suit their need for breeding, feeding and raising their young. They are flying from vast distances including China, Japan, Siberia and other areas around the world that has winter season. These migrant birds travel beyond their country’s borders in search for warmer and safer refuge where they can also find sufficient food resources.

As a warm welcome to these visitors, may we all refrain from touching or harming them. Just let them fly freely.


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