LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera (EMB-DENR-CAR) and the local government of Tuba together with other stakeholders renewed their commitment to protect the Bued River whose water quality has deteriorated.

The Bued River watershed covers the historic and scenic Kennon Road and various eco tourism spots. Some of the industries like aggregates and firms are also lodged within the watershed area.

The EMB-DENR-CAR in partnership with the LGU of Tuba and stakeholders have adopted the “Adopt an Estero” program last year and will continue the program this year.

Private groups also renewed their commitment to contribute to the protection of designated areas along the river system such as holding regular clean up operations.

Councilor Roger Kitma, chairman of the Committee on Environment of the town council, said Mayor Florencio Bentrez is now a main signatory to the memorandum of agreement between EMB-DENR-CAR and stakeholders like Mount Rock Aggregates, Camp 6 Explorers and Small Scale Miners Inc., private individuals with industrial businesses, and Gold Rich Construction firm.

Tuba LGU served only as a witness to the undertaking last year.

The DENR thru the EMB is the primary agency mandated to implement the “Adopt an Estero” program of the government.

Engr. Raul Cubangay, EMB-DENR-CAR Water Quality Management section head, said that regular water quality monitoring and assessment are being conducted in the Bued River since last year. Their findings show that water quality of the Bued River has been deteriorating.

Cubangay said that the cited program is one of the preparatory measures that their agency is currently undertaking for the designation of Bued River System as a Water Quality Management Area in a bid to effectively protect the river.