ADOPT-A-RIVER PROJECT. Personnel of the PNP-Maritime Group 1 from its units in Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte pick up trash along the bank of Pantal River during the launching of PNP-Maritime Region 1’s “Adopt-A-River” project on Tuesday (Nov. 19, 2019). In partnership with EMB-DENR and the city government, the maritime group adopts the three-kilometer stretch of Pantal River for the conduct of periodic clean-up operations, together with partner agencies and other stakeholders. (Photo by Liwayway Yparraguirre)
DAGUPAN CITY — The Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Group in Region 1 (Ilocos) has started its clean-up drive at the Pantal River here, its chosen area for the Adopt-A-River project.
Pantal River is one of the major river systems in this city. It is downstream of the river connecting Calasiao, Sta. Barbara towns, Urdaneta City, and upstream.
“This launching is a wake-up call to residents of Pantal and those living along the river, to be responsible in disposing (of) their garbage. We need their cooperation as there will be succeeding activities to ensure that Pantal river will be cleaned and will be kept clean,” said Col. Dennis Denver Sab-it, PNP-Maritime Region 1 chief, in an interview Tuesday.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the main proponent of the project, while the Regional Advisory Council determined the area/river to be adopted.
“We are not the first government agency or unit to adopt a river, however, this will be one of our unit’s best practices,” Sab-it said.
Under their Adopt-A-River project, he said they will conduct periodic clean-up operations possibly on a monthly basis.
The length covering the river clean-up project is three kilometers from the Quintos bridge area at A.B. Fernandez Avenue down to the Pantal river’s mouth at the back of LTO-Dagupan district office.
Sab-it said the participants or groups were subdivided into 14 sectors or clean-up points of the whole stretch of the three-kilometer project area.
“Most of the garbage fished from the sides of the Pantal river were packed in plastic bags, there were also plastic bottles and tetra packs, and other materials. Some are trapped at water lilies or at the branches of trees or at the leaves of nipa (or palm) plants which are submerged at the river. The water at these areas emit a foul odor,” he added.
Sab-it further said these plants need to be trimmed so as not to serve as the catchment of areas of trash.
He said they have to coordinate with other government agencies or private companies where cutters or other equipment can be borrowed.
They will also later sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with EMB-DENR on this “Adopt-A-River” project and other stakeholders, he added.
“I have suggested to the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau the testing of water quality to see later changes as a result of the river clean-up,” Sab-it said.
The PNP-Maritime Region 1 participants come from its units in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.
The other participants were from the Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard, media, PNP-Maritime Region 1 Advisory Council, Philippine Information Agency, different barangay councils, Dagupan City’s Waste Management Division, personnel from the local government unit, Department of Education, volunteer groups, and students from universities and colleges in the city. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency