By Tara Yap
Secretary Roy Cimatu of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) wants to speed up the clean-up of the Malandog River in San Jose town, Antique.
DENR Regional Director for Western Visayas Jim Sampulna said Cimatu met with the task force earlier this week and discussed the rehabilitation of the major river system that runs through the provincial capital.
“He wanted to prioritize the cleaning of the river of silt and informal settlers along the banks of the river,” Sampulna said.
“He believed that unless and until they are removed, we could not attain the normal coliform level of water,” he said.
Last year, Cimatu identified the rehabilitation of the Malandog River as one of DENR’s top priorities in Western Visayas and has earmarked R40 million for it.
Cimatu is familiar with the river, which he sees during his trips to the ancestral home of his wife, who is a native of Antique.
He would recall how the river was very clean way back in the 1970s.