Cagayan, DENR to ink pact with dredging operators to desilt Cagayan River: Mamba


Posted at Dec 08 2020 01:02 PM

Cagayan, DENR to ink pact with dredging operators to desilt Cagayan River: Mamba 1
A rainbow is seen above flooded areas in Cagayan Valley in the northern Philippines on November 15, 2020. Philippine Coast Guard via AP/File

MANILA - The Inter-Agency Committee on the Cagayan River Restoration will sign a memorandum of agreement with 2 dredging companies on Thursday for the desilting of the waterway.

The agreement comes over a month since record floods struck in Cagayan and Isabela provinces due to the overflow of the river in the wake of Typhoon Ulysses. Heavy siltation of the river was among factors blamed for the inundation.

“Thursday magkakaroon ng MOA signing. Mayroong 2 na dredgers who will be dredging the mouths of Cagayan River but may mga applicants pa kaming iba pa, pino process pa rin po 'yung kanilang papeles bago sila makipag-MOA,” said Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba.

(There will be a MOA signing on Thursday. There are 2 dredgers who will be dredging the mouths of the Cagayan River but we have other applicants that are still processing their papers before they enter into a MOA with us.)

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The inter-agency committee is composed of the Cagayan provincial government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Environment Management Bureau (EMB) and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In an interview on TeleRadyo, Mamba said 17 companies applied for dredging operations, and only 13 qualified.

Operators, he said, must have a capital of P1 billion and pay a P20 million cash bond to the province.

“Maybe by Thursday ibibigay na rin natin 'yung notice to proceed para maumpisahan na rin po ang dredging ng Cagayan River,” he said.

(Maybe by Thursday we will give the notice to proceed to start dredging the Cagayan River.)

Mamba said the provincial government will have control over the issuance of the notice to proceed and would study how many companies could start dredging the mouth of the river at the same time.
A heavily-silted Cagayan River, Typhoon Ulysses' rainfall from nearby provinces, and water release from the Magat Dam had submerged the large parts of the province and left at least 9 dead in November.

The governor said dredgers need to start operating at the mouth of the heavily-silted river to be able to move further inside.

The first phase will cover 8 kilometers of a 32-km area identified as the dredging zone, Mamba said.