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Bulacan bids to revive dead river to polish invest image

09/06/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Taking off on a program making cleanliness and orderliness to serve as magnet for foreign investors and tourists, the provincial government of Bulacan is geared at implementing Republic Act 9003 to clean-up and rehabilitate the 55-kilometer Marilao, Meycauayan and Obando River System (MMORS), which has been consistently listed among the top 30 dirtiest rivers in the world.

The implementation of RA 9003, otherwise known as the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000,” was seen as the only legal solution to save the endangered river stretch from total extinction.

The said blackish river water in Bulacan was examined by the New York-based Blacksmith Institute and was found to be heavily poisoned with heavy metals coming from lead smelters, jewelry and gold refineries, tanneries, livestock raisers, electroplating plants, manufacturing sites, and textiles and garment factories situated along the riverbanks.

“The current state of our river calls for an emergency action, we have to act, not tomorrow, but today, otherwise nothing will remain of this endangered river that has been a victim of years of neglect, inaction and consistent abuse,” said Obando Mayor Orencio Gabriel.

The municipality of Obando is set to serve as host to the development of an engineered sanitary landfill, seen as a crucial partner of the province in the clean-up and rehabilitation of the river. The proposed engineered sanitary landfill, to be developed and operated by Ecoshield Development Corp., was also in direct response to the Writ of Kalikasan and Writ of Continuing Mandamus promulgated in 2010 by the Supreme Court aimed at rehabilitating the Manila Bay by cleaning-up the river veins connected to the bay. Aside from being the facility to receive and process wastes from the clean-up campaign, the project was also deemed as a solution to the perennial garbage problem of the municipality currently wanting of a proper waste disposal system.

The engineered sanitary landfill was approved by the Municipality of Obando in January this year, then, in June also of the current year, the provincial government of Bulacan, approved the resolution that permits Ecoshield to construct and maintain a 44-hectare engineered sanitary landfill in Barangay Salambao. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued the necessary clearances and permits, giving the green light for the engineered Obando Sanitary Landfill.
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