LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: The Benguet provincial board has passed a resolution recommending to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environment Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) designating the Amburayan River as Water Quality Management Area for the region.
The measure, authored by Board Member Jim Botiwey, explained that the present state of water quality in the Amburayan River system requires protection and management actions by local government units and various stakeholders within the watershed areas to ensure the river system’s sustainability and generate maximum benefits and welfare to the communities and stakeholders.
To make Amburayan under WQMA is one of the main strategies to effectively enforce Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act of 2004 Clean Water Act to improve water quality of water bodies through focused interventions or actions that are designed to address specific water quality and quantity unique to such areas.
The Amburayan river system and its tributaries and watershed cover the towns of Tublay, Kapangan, Kibungan, Buguias, Bakun, and Atok. It traverses the provinces of La Union and Ilocos Sur and finally drains to the West Philippine Sea.
Accordingly, the river is a potential source of water for households, industries and commercial establishments. Its water is currently used for aquaculture, agriculture and other domestic uses.
The resolution shall be forwarded to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje and EMB-CAR Regional Director Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe.
Similarly, the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. and the Environmental Management Bureau – CAR and Region 1, in partnership with all local government units and various stakeholders are working together through series of meetings, consultations and information campaign in support for the designation of Amburayan River as WQMA.
The six towns of the province have also created a local Water Quality Task Force.
For the river system to qualify as WQMA, it must have similar hydrological, hydro geological, meteorological or geographic conditions which affect the physicochemical, biological and bacteriological reactions and diffusions of pollutants in the water bodies, otherwise share common interest or face similar development programs, prospects, or problems.
THOM PICAÑA AND GABY KEITH