Task force Diwalwal meets anew

THE Task Force Diwalwal-Program Monitoring and Coordinating Center convened its members at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao Region Office to update recent developments on the clean-up and rehabilitation of Naboc River in Mt. Diwata which is adversely affected by the mining operations.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his State of the Nation Address pushed for the cleaning up of Naboc River and the transfer of informal settlers as well as the mining operations in the Mabatas area. The rehabilitation of the river is also one of the priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.

The Provincial Government of Compostela Valley Province presented its accomplishment in terms of road networks and land preparation in the Mabatas Area.

A total cost of P5.8 million has been expended for the labor cost, fuel consumption and equipment rentals since it began its earth works in August last year.

The Provincial Government has already completed 90 percent of its target and expected to be completed this month which includes clearing and grabbing of relocation sites, road widening, gravelling and road repairs, and culvert installation.

The DENR Assessment and Evaluation Study Team for the Naboc River also presented on-going activities which will contribute to the successful implementation of the projects. The study team focuses on different areas like the physical evaluation and site assessment, baseline demographic profiling, identification of existing structures.

The Philippine Mining Development Corporation submitted a proposed establishment of Diwalwal Special Economic Zone which is a 300 hectare mixed-use development project to be situated in Tagbanao Area in Barangay Ulip in the Municipality of Monkayo. The project aims to invite investors and enterprises to locate in the economic zone.

The proposal, which will need the endorsement from the DENR, will be subjected to a thorough evaluation and shall comply with all mandatory requirements from the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). The endorsement from the DENR is needed before the area can be declared as an economic zone through a Presidential Proclamation.

A proposal creating the Provincial Task Force Naboc River was also presented during the meeting. The proposed Task Force will be chaired by the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer and will be co-chaired by representatives from the Provincial local government unit (LGU), the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police. Membership will be composed of representatives from the different government agencies, LGUs, Miners groups, academe, environmental CSO and irrigators association.

To achieve all the proposed activities in the operations plan prepared by PMCC, an estimated budgetary requirement of 26 million pesos is needed.

Almost 70 percent of the total needed money or 18 million pesos is intended for the water and power supply facilities and for the transfer site preparation.

DENR-Davao Regional Director Ruth Tawantawan calls for the support of the LGUs and requested the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley to appropriate funds to sustain the plans for 2018 and for all the activities to be materialized.

“If the 18 million pesos will be provided by the LGU, the benefits will eventually go to the LGUs and the constituents of Compostela Valley," Tawantawan said. (PR)