President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the dredging of four major rivers in the country, which are heavily silted resulting to floods that destroy crops and properties every year, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said Wednesday.
In a Facebook post, Piñol said Duterte directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to work with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement the dredging in the following rivers:
- Agusan River which flows from the mountains of Davao and ends up in Butuan city which recently overflowed its banks and damaged an estimated 50,000 hectares of farmlands;
-Rio Grande de Mindanao which flows out of Cotabato City from the plains of Central Mindanao passing through the Liguasan Marsh. It also caused flooding in Maguindanao and North Cotabato Provinces recently;
- Pampanga River which causes flooding in Pampanga Province every year destroying crops;
- Cagayan River, the country's longest and biggest river which flows from Quirino Province and ends up in Aparri, Cagayan.
The dredging operations will be a stop-gap measure to avert flooding in the areas where the rivers pass through.
Piñol said the DENR, DA and DILG will also implement the President's directive of a total log ban in the headwaters of the rivers and to reforest the mountains.