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Help sought in cleaning mouth of Guadalupe River

CEBU, Philippines - The “island of trash” that has formed at the mouth of the Guadalupe River near the Pasil-Ermita area in Cebu City already calls for an urgent action, said the Environmental Management Bureau-7.

Rechale Ybañez, EMB-7 information officer, said the mouth of the Guadalupe River should immediately be cleaned because aside from being an eyesore, toxins and other by-products of the decomposition of these deposited wastes may pose harm to marine life.

“Pila na na katuig diha. Naa’y manglimpyo nga isulod sa sako ang basura pero mura’g wala man gihapon epekto,” Ybañez said.

On March 19, EMB-7 will gather volunteers to help clean this part of the river.

“CEBUGSAY is an introductory event to a more holistic and integrated approach to revive the Guadalupe River, the nearby coastal areas and the communities around,” Ybañez said.

Some of their partner stakeholders are the Department of Public Works and Highways-7, Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas, Police Regional Office-7, Coastal Management Board of Cebu City, Department of Public Services in Cebu City, Metro Cebu Water District, Cebu City River Management Council, Barangay Ermita and Barangay Pasil.

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Ybañez said EMB-7 will meet the stakeholders tomorrow to discuss strategies on how to carry the project out easily and efficiently. They will also decide where to put the collected trash afterwards.

“So maybe we can use a backhoe from the DPWH-7 para sa pagkuha aning basura. That’s why mag site inspection mi on Monday,” Ybañez said.

During the cleanup, residents along the area will be gathered so they can be educated on why it is important not to dump their garbage into the river.

“We want to transform people but of course, dili man ni instant. Mao nga i-doble or i-triple na gyud ni namo among efforts. Kami na gyud ang mangunay ani,” Ybañez said.

She said they would also like to ask the help of the Local Government Unit to help them in the project.

EMB-7 has asked the Cebu City government to residents of barangay through which the Guadalupe River traverses to clean their part of the river.

Ybañez also encouraged private companies to join to participate in the Adopt-Estero/River Program in which they can help finance the revitalization of the body of water they agree to adopt.

She said the Cebu Private Power Corp. has signed a memorandum of agreement with EMB-7 for a portion of the Guadalupe River. Ybañez hopes others will follow suit.  (FREEMAN)

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