Bued River Day celebration set

The governing board of the Bued River Water Quality Management Area will be holding the first Bued River Day celebration come August 2, 2019 as part of the campaign to revitalize the river back to its pristine waters.

The Bued River Day celebration was agreed upon by the members of the WQMA during its second quarter meeting held over the week with Department of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera Regional Director Ralph Pablo suggesting the idea.

He said the revitalization of Bued River is as important as the revitalization of Balili River and the Amburayan River which tributaries included the city of Baguio. He said keeping the headwaters of rivers clean is the ultimate goal to ensure that these bodies of water are within quality standards.

Wilma Lagunilla, chief of the Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) Air Quality Monitoring Division, suggested that the celebration should be April 18 when the governing body was established, however, it was noted that the volume of water flowing by this time would be too little which may only illustrate how the river has degraded.

The third quarter meeting of the governing body is scheduled on July 30 thus they have agreed to celebrate Bued River Day on August 2 for them to have ample time to prepare and ensure participation of the communities traversed by the river from Baguio General Hospital area down Kennon Road.

Pablo said that the communities should instilled with behavioural change for them to police their own ranks and apprehend those who throw their garbage indiscriminately into the Bued River.

He said the agency conducted a clean-up drive earlier in February where they collected more than 6,000 kilograms of solid waste.

Another clean-up drive was conducted by the City Environment and Parks Management Office of Baguio last April where they have collected over 5,000 kilograms of solid waste.

Pablo noted that in a span of two months, tons of garbage were already dumped into the Bued River despite efforts of the government in the several clean-up activities.

“Even if we keep cleaning Bued River if the communities nearby do not change their attitude of indiscriminate throwing of garbage, we will not be able to achieve a clean and pristine river,” Pablo lamented.

The DENR recently reported a coliform level of 365 million most probable number per 100 ml at the Bued River, which is higher than the 350 million MPN per 100 ml coliform level at the Manila Bay.* - Jessa Mardy Polonio-Samidan