Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu on Thursday ordered all regional directors of the agency to have all the rivers under their jurisdiction cleaned within a one-year period.
Cimatu issued the order in Cebu City during the opening of the 4th International River Summit at Radisson Blu Hotel.
The DENT secretary said it is the agency’s responsibility to improve the conditions of the rivers in the country and he is giving regional heads one year to comply with his directive.
Cimatu said he will be checking on all the rivers in the country six months from now and the region with the cleanest river will be duly rewarded and recognized.
Regional directors who fail to comply with the order, according to Cimatu, will undergo an evaluation process of their performance and may face sanction or be replaced.
The International River Summit is a biennial multi-partner initiative organized to intensify promotion of clean river advocacy and governance.
The ribbon-cutting and opening ceremonies were led by Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing with Cimatu and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as among the guests.
The fourth edition of the summit is being hosted by the Mandaue City government in partnership with the League of Cities of the Philippines and the DENR-River Basin Control Office.
With the theme “Raising Awareness, Commitment, and Resources for the Rivers,” the summit will provide a venue for information and knowledge exchange on the latest technologies and trends on basin governance, discussions on issues and concerns, and sharing of innovations and solutions to synergize strategies and practices on river basin management.
The rehabilitation of Cebu’s Butuanon River will be among the subjects to be tackled in the three-day summit, which ends Saturday.