Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has ordered Iloilo City Agriculturist Josegil Parreñas to remove all structures in the Iloilo River by the end of August or face the consequence of being transferred to another office.
Mabilog gave this order following reports that illegal fishpens and other structures are still enjoying a boom at the Iloilo River.
Mabilog disclosed that he was informed by members of the Iloilo River Development Council about several structures still remaining at the river, especially from the Carpenter Bridge in Mandurriao district up to Sooc, Arevalo.
Former Tourism Secretary Narzalina Lim and city planning officer Jose Roni Peñalosa reported that some structures such as fish traps cannot be seen during high tide. But these structures impede the river flow and accumulate soil accretion that adds up to the river siltation.
These structures impede the flow of the river especially during heavy rains and typhoons and must be removed immediately as a disaster mitigation process, Mabilog told Parreñas.
If the city agriculturist cannot do his job, the city mayor will look for someone to fulfill it. Parreñas may be transferred to another city government office.
The city chief executive said he is not amenable to any structure in the river and would ask the Iloilo City Council to enact a regulation ordinance soon to preserve the area.
Mabilog said that under his administration, the city government is very serious in the protection of the environment, citing provisions of the Iloilo River Development Plan.
Under the plan, communities living at the riverbanks will be relocated while private structures such as houses, restaurants, hospitals, shopping malls and others must conform with the policy of keeping the river clean and safe. (PNA) /MP