Cimatu: Enforce easement rule along Cagayan River

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Immediate dredging and strict enforcement of the 20-meter easement rule along Cagayan River are necessary to avoid a repeat of massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, according to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

“We have to follow the 20-meter easement rule. There should be no building or any structure within the easement zone,” Cimatu, who co-chairs the Build Back Better Task Force created by President Duterte to oversee the rehabilitation of areas devastated by recent typhoons, said.

He said Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano should address the problem with illegal structures along creeks.

Cimatu instructed Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cagayan Valley executive director Gwendolyn Bambalan and and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) regional director Mario Ancheta to coordinate with  local government officials for the relocation of communities along riverbanks.

He said a technical working group would be created to come up with engineering interventions along Cagayan River.

Cimatu recently met with the governors of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, who would comprise the technical working group.

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