The Iloilo city government through the City Agriculture Office has the installation of garbage boom in bodies of water here to track the barangays which are sources of garbage found in Iloilo River.

Romulo Pangantihon, city agriculturist, said that his office started the fabrication of garbage boom last Monday.

Garbage boom is a floating barrier that catches floating debris in the water.

The garbage booms were installed in Barangays Bakhaw and Bolilao in Mandurriao District here, particularly in the vicinities of Dungon Creek.

“This is an order of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in order to identify the barangays that dump their garbage in the creek, which end up in Iloilo River,” Pangantihon said.

He said last Tuesday, his office installed garbage boom near the Jalandoni Bridge to monitor if there are garbage in the river coming from the upper barangays.

The same gear was installed in the lower portion of Dungon Creek, he added.

Aside from monitoring the source of garbage, Pangantihon said the CAO can also monitor the volume of garbage thrown into the river.

“We will install garbage boom in other locations to really pinpoint the specific location of garbage sources,” he added.

The Iloilo City Government successfully rehabilitated Iloilo River over the years through private-partnership initiatives.

The Iloilo River is now a tourism landmark known for the Iloilo River Esplanade – a stretch of rest and recreation area where tourists and locals can find food establishments to enjoy; where health and fitness buffs do their exercise activities like zumba, jogging and yoga; where lovers and friends can enjoy the Iloilo City sunset with the city’s traffic as backdrop; when one can spend quality time with their loved ones through different river activities like paddle boats and fishing; among others.

The Iloilo City Government and Mabilog recently received citations from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu for the successful rehabilitation of the river.

Cimatu, in his two visits in the previous months, repeatedly lauded the city government for the successful initiative. He noted how Iloilo River is remarkably “cleaner” than other rivers located in highly urbanized city in the country, and pushed for the replication of the city’s best practice to other areas as well. (MADLS/PNA)