Desiltation of EB Magalona river underway

Mayor Marvin Malacon of EB Magalona, Negros Occidental (File/Dolly Yasa)

By Dolly Yasa

Bacolod City – Mayor Marvin Malacon of EB Magalona, Negros Occidental said that desiltation of the town’s river is underway.

The desiltation was carried after the rise in water levels in nine coastal barangays of EB Magalona which affected the livelihood of residents, Malacon said.

The nine EB Magalona coastal barangays hit with heavy siltation are Latasan, Tuburan, Tomongtong, Gahit, Madalag, Mantaangan, Batya, Alicante and Pasil.
He blamed fishpond owners for the siltation of the river.

Malacon said the local government of EB Magalona is now banking on the joint disilting project backed by four government agencies to solve the flooding problems.

Board Member Andrew Montelibano, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said the project is a joint undertaking of the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Transportation, Environment and Natural Resources, and Interior and Local Government, alongside TeraDev Corp., a private corporation tasked to implement the project.

Malacon and Montelibano led the public consultation this week on the proposed joint undertakings that was also attended by local officials and representatives of DENR and TeraDev at the municipal hall of EB Magalona.

Montelibano said that “Water levels in those areas have risen in recent years.”

He also said that a geo-hazard study in 1999 indicated that the area is already “heavily silted.”

Montelibano added that the project has already passed the scrutiny of the SP.

The local government will not spend a single centavo “but it will be the private contractor who will pay the government in terms of taxes, permits and licenses,” he said.