The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has allocated PHP40 million for the rehabilitation and development of the historic Malandog River.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Andres Untal, who met the different heads of national and provincial offices here in Antique on Wednesday, said the fund will be utilized for the dredging of the already silted river, removal of fish traps and debris, rehabilitation and improvement of riverbanks, and other activities.
“The project is very timely because Malandog will be the core of the Binirayan Festival re-enactment,” said Errol Santillan, Sangguniang Panlalawigan chairman of the Committee on Tourism and Environment, who also attended the meeting.
Binirayan Festival re-enactment to be staged on December 26 is the highlight of the month-long celebration here.
The re-enactment will depict the arrival on board the sailboats and then the first settlement of the Malay datus in Malandog.
Santillan, who is also the chairman of the Binirayan Festival re-enactment, said there is really a need for the dredging of the heavily silted river delta so that starting December 1, the big boat or “balangay” could dock at the riverside.
“The big boat would even be an international attraction,” Santillan said.
Untal, meanwhile, said that with the given budget which the DENR would start disbursing this December until next year, there is a need for the creation of a task force to oversee the rehabilitation and development of the river.
Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao is being eyed to chair the task force. (PNA)