Environmental group urges regulated entry to watershed

Published August 14, 2021, 4:51 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – An environmental group urged the city government to create a mechanism to regulate the entry of people to the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed for recreation after recovering more assorted wastes, mostly face masks, due to the unregulated and unmonitored recreational activities that are making Davao City’s next water source as a “trash bin.”

Atty. Mark Peñalver, executive director of the Interface Development Intervention for Sustainability (IDIS), said Saturday that the waste problem would not be solved if these activities are tolerated.

During a cleanup drive conducted by IDIS and Bantay Bukid Volunteers Friday, 80 disposable masks, one bottle of fungicide, 36 plastic cups, cigarette packs, and large amounts of various sachets of shampoo, junk food, and detergents were recovered in the watershed.

Last Tuesday, an ordinance, authored by 2nd District Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr., who chairs the Committee on Environment, was passed regulating recreational activities within the watershed-conservation areas of the protection, conservation, and preservation of the natural environment.

Pending the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations, he said local government must immediately regulate the number of people entering the watershed and ensure to strictly implement the Republic Act (RA) 9003, also known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” and Davao City Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance as the “threat to our watershed continues.”

“In the meantime, while waiting for that ordinance to be enforced, the LGU in coordination with the barangay should ensure that these violators are apprehended, if not create a mechanism that would regulate entry of people in the area based on our existing laws and ordinances,” he said.