Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the provincial government of Davao de Oro signed a Memorandum of Agreement this week for the dredging, quarrying and rehabilitation of Naboc River in Monkayo.
The MOA signing was attended by DENR Secretary Roy A Cimatu, DILG Undersecretary for Operations Epimaco V. Densing III, Davao de Oro Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy and DPWH-XI Regional Director Allan S. Borromeo.
The rehabilitation of Naboc River is one of the priority programs of Secretary Cimatu after President Rodrigo Duterte stated in his SONA last July 2017 the ill condition of the river caused by Mercury, Cyanide and fecal coliform contamination.
"Mt. Diwalwal had been the debris of man's insatiable greed and we will not allow this river to die and we will exhaust all means to bring it back to life as what we have successfully done in Boracay and what we are doing in Manila Bay," Cimatu said during his message.
As initial phase of Naboc River rehabilitation, the Provincial Task Force Naboc River (PTFNR) in Region XI has served Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) to 1,797 ball mills and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) owners last March 16-18, 2019. Under the slogan “Lihok Alang Sa Naboc”. This 3-day operation aimed to immediately transfer informal settlers and all processing plants from Mt. Diwata to Sitio Mabatas to attain the government’s goal of addressing Diwalwal’s environmental problems.
Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Eastern Mindanao and DENR-XI Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan said that it is very fulfilling to have delivered the mandates and challenges of the President and the DENR Secretary.
"The resolution of this long-overdue problem is a clear manifestation of Presidents Duterte's political will for change. And with the issuance of Secretary Cimatu's Special Order for creating the Provincial Task Force Naboc River coupled with his strategies, stipulated an impetus potent enough to reach an effective solution," she said.
On the other hand, Governor Uy vowed to help in cleaning the Naboc River and restore its natural waters.
"As the Governor, I will fully commit my time, my effort and my passion to clean-up this Naboc River and support the advocacy of the DENR and the President as well," Uy said.