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Cimatu’s proposed solutions to Cagayan flooding: river dredging, intensified reforestation


Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has proposed the immediate dredging of Cagayan River and planting of some 200 million tree seedlings on low-lying agricultural areas in Cagayan after the province suffered its worst flooding in decades due to heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ulysses.
Cimatu made the twin proposals during a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Tuguegarao City last Sunday. The President and his Cabinet flew to Cagayan’s capital city to personally assess the damage caused by the typhoon.
“These are the interventions which we can already start. I think if we do these, we can already make a difference, Mr. President,” Cimatu told Duterte during the Cabinet meeting.
The Chief Executive signified full backing for Cimatu’s twin proposals with his response. “Go for it and I will support you all the way,” the President said.
Cimatu said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been conducting reforestation activities in Cagayan through the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) with focus on upland areas.
He said low-lying agricultural areas, including privately-owned lands, should now be included in the coverage of ENGP.
Cimatu attributed the intensity and frequency of typhoons and their unusual volume of rainfall to climate change.
The DENR chief said he has already approved the request of Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba for the dredging of the Cagayan River covering some 30 kilometers.
According to Cimatu, dredging will solve the existence of a constricted section of Cagayan River called Magapit Narrows.  This Narrows snakes through the towns of Alcala, Lal-lo and Gattaran.
He noted that 18 major rivers in Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and the Cordillera Administrative Region drain into the Cagayan River, making the province prone to flooding.
Cimatu explained that the bottleneck sites in the Magapit Narrows significantly hinders flow of flood water to the Aparri Delta and finally to the Babuyan Channel.
He said the dredging will improve the volume capacity of Cagayan River “at no cost on the part of the government” as the provincial government is now looking for a contractor.
The contractor will be allowed to sell the dredged minerals, with the government earning revenues from the dredging at the same time as stipulated in DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2020-07 titled “Rationalizing Dredging Activities in Heavily-Silted River Channels Pursuant to the DENR-DPWH-DILG-DOTR  Joint Memorandum Circular No.1 Series of 2019”.
The DAO rationalized dredging activities in heavily-silted river channels across the country to help restore their natural state and flow and reduce flooding.
It requires the contractor to shoulder all the expenses of the dredging operation in exchange for whatever minerals it may recover, provided it pays the required national and local taxes. # (DENR-SCIS)
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DOH sponsors flu vaccination to MGB employees


Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- Employees of Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II were given flu vaccine last 8 September 2020 sponsored by the Department of Health Regional Office No. II.

RD Mario A. Ancheta requested for flu vaccine from Dir. Rio L. Magpantay of the DOH, “to protect our employees from flu viruses especially during this time of health crisis, “RD Ancheta said.

“With the increasing number of cases and deaths, interventions should be made to fight the coronavirus disease,” RD Ancheta added.

Security guards of the regional office as well as its Auditor were likewise given flu vaccine by DOH.

The vaccination was administered by Ms. Lucia Balisi, Midwife VI of DOH Region II.

“Let us prevent further complications and anxieties by protecting our staff in this time of pandemic, “ RD Ancheta said.

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Inter-agency committee on Cagayan River restoration convenes


Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, August 13, 2020-   The Inter-Agency Committee on the Restoration of the Cagayan River headed by its Chair, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba recently convened at Narra Hall, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 02, Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan to discuss the proposed process flow for the dredging application.

DENR’s Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn C. Bambalan, vice-chair of the committee assured Gov. Mamba, “We are one with you in this endeavor as long as it is applicable to the environmental laws, rules, and regulations before we proceed with the dredging activity,” RED Bambalan said.

On the other hand, Engr. Mario A. Ancheta, MGB ROII Director likewise expressed his support to the proposed Cagayan River restoration.

“We already wrote a letter to the Governor to help us with the logistics and by next week, after our coordination, we will already conduct our sampling, “RD Ancheta said.

MGB Region 02 together with DENR, Environmental Management Bureau, and Department of Public Works and Highways are members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Cagayan River Restoration.

The meeting was attended by RED Bambalan, RD Ancheta, EMB Director Virgillio Licuan, DPWH Director Loreta Malaluan, and PENRO Cagayan Atty. Ismael Manaligod.

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Mines Bureau expresses support on dredging of Cagayan river

DredgingTuguegarao City, Cagayan- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. II spearheaded by Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta has expressed its support to the dredging project on heavily silted channel of Cagayan river.

RD Ancheta has expressed his support to the project of the Provincial Government of Cagayan for the restoration of the Cagayan River and its tributaries.

Ancheta said during the virtual public consultation that MGB will work hand in hand with the province, “We will monitor the dredging plan and we will see if the activities are aligned to the laws and policies. Actually, we have our initial assessment such as bathymetric survey along Cagayan River.” Ancheta said.

“We also conducted analysis in some parts of Alcala, Camalanuigan, and Lallo. And if there are minerals that are dredged, we will impose corresponding taxes, “Ancheta added.

The bathymetric survey was conducted at the port of Brgy. Tupang, Alcala, Cagayan to the boundary of Lallo- Camalaniugan.

The data collected for the survey contained an area of 4,111.00 hectares.

On the other hand, the Provincial Government of Cagayan recently hosted a virtual public consultation on the Restoration of the Cagayan River and its Tributaries.

The virtual public consultation discussed the implementation of DENR’s Department Administrative Order 2020- 07 on Rationalizing Dredging Activities in Heavily- Silted River Channels pursuant to the DENR-DPWH-DILG-DOTR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2019.

“This virtual public consultation is a proof of how interested the province is to this project. Dredging para maibsan ang epekto ng pagbaha sa probinsya,“Environment Undersecretary Atty. Juan Miguel T. Cuna said on his message.

Moreover, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba said that the dredging project has been part of the development agenda of his administration.

“Buhay ang Cagayan river. It is one of the major sources of our livelihood and economic driver of the province,” Gov. Mamba said.

 “Our Cagayan River is a boon in our province. It is a source of livelihood, but sometimes, it becomes a bane that we suffer lost of lives, properties, and livelihoods,” Mamba said during the virtual consultation.

This is also the reason why Gov. Mamba wants to push through the dredging activity, “ To avoid further destruction of lives and properties due to flooding,” Mamba said.

Mamba likewise plans to reopen the port of Aparri which has been a major seaport before its closure due to siltation.

“Dredge the river to make it viable. You need to trust me here, work with me. Help me here for I saw how good it was, “Mamba assured his fellow Cagayanos that dredging will help mitigate flooding in Cagayan.

The virtual public consultation was attended by regional and provincial offices, academe, media, civic organizations, environmentalists, and other stakeholders.


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RD Ancheta pledges support to new DENR Chief


Tuguegarao City, Cagayan- “Just like what we did with the past administrations, lagi kaming nasa likod ng DENR na nakasuporta,” Regional Director Mario A. Ancheta said during the visit of the new Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in MGB SRegional Office No. II.

RD Ancheta together with Imee E. Gatan- Agaloos, OIC, Finance and Administrative Division, Maribeth G. Tumaliuan, Mining Claims Examiner III, and Diana Imie B. Estrada, Planning Officer/concurrent Budget Officer presented to RED Gwendolyn C. Bambalan the profile, targets, and accomplishments of MGB ROII as well as mining project updates in the region.

During the orientation, RED Bambalan called for support to the priority programs of Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu particularly on MGB’s role on the implementation of responsible mining, geohazard assessment, and groundwater assessment.

RD Ancheta assured RED Bambalan of MGB’s support to her leadership as well as the Bureau’s strict implementation of responsible mining.

“Just like before, we will continue to implement our programs and projects. We will support you and we will support DENR. We will work together for the effective implementation of our programs and projects in the Department,” RD Ancheta said.

Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Marcos G. Dacanay joined RED Bambalan during her visit in MGB.

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