By By Fernan A. Gianan
Gogon river clean-up needs to be taken seriously
posted 10-Feb-2019  ·  
899 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

The R.I.V.E.R.S (Recognizing Individuals/Institution towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers) "Clean Gogon River" project was launched with some fanfare last Saturday morning at the town plaza, with the opening program graced by Vice Mayor Arlynn Arcilla, who represented Mayor Sammy Laynes then in Manila, and PENRO Marlon Francia as well as heads of other agencies. Among the participants were hundreds of NSTP students from the Catanduanes State University, Army reservists, barangay officials, LGU officials and employees, the academe, as well as those from various government and non-government agencies.

Identified as among the key stakeholders in the project are EcoDev, GreenCat, Silang Mountaineers, Rotary Club of Virac, Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital, ACS Trucking, Virac Ice Plant, Virac Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Virac Stall Owners Association, Catanduanes Bankers Association, Catanduanes Contractors Association, RHAJ Inn, Lucky Hotel & Resort, Rakdell Inn, Powerzone, McDonald’s, Jollibee, Catanduanes Midtown Inn, ARDCI Microfinance, Villa Tolledo, and Century Family Mall.

Although it took more than an hour to gather the participants and start the program, the volunteer river cleaners spread out by 8 A.M. to their designated areas along the estero from the back of the capitol compound towards Gogon bridge, Moonwalk bridge to Gogon bridge, and Moonwalk bridge towards the airport junction of Moonwalk road.

Most of the volunteers, however, were woefully unprepared for the job at hand.

Cleaning a river involved wading in the murky and trash-filled waters that hide dangerous sharp objects such as broken glass and sharp metal fragments. Thus, one does not only need implements such as spades or rakes but also personal protective equipment such as rubber boots and gloves.

Sadly, the NSTP delegation were mostly armed only with camera phones and thus were not able to thoroughly clean the drainage canal that runs along Moonwalk road. It would be best for them to bring on the next scheduled weekly clean-up at least a long, slender bamboo pole with a steel point or hook that could at least pick up garbage from the relative safety of the canal’s top.

Except for the combat boot-clad members of the PNP, BFP, Army and reservists, DPWH and some barangay and LGU officials and employees, there were not enough cleaners who ventured into the river or estero to collect the trash.

More effort should therefore be done by the organizers to convince volunteers that the project should be taken seriously and not just as a photo opportunity.

Concerned government agencies should also create a team to inspect the banks of the river and the estero to identify structures encroaching on the 3-meter easement and actually discharging waste into the waterway. Once properly identified, appropriate notices and warnings could be sent out prior to the demolition of the obstructing structures.

*****

    Pag matiyaga, may nilaga. This Filipino adage held true with regards to tourism infra projects for LGUs.

    It turns out that the three towns which secured much-needed access road projects from the DPWH-DOT Convergence Program were the ones which submitted their tourism development plans.

    Pandan, Bagamanoc and Bato must have active LGU leaders and executives.

*****

THE LAST NAMES. A woman is filling out forms at the welfare office. Under “Number of Children” she writes “10” and where it says “List Names of Children” she writes ’Leroy”.

    When she hands in the form, the clerk behind the desk points out, “Now here where it says ’List Names of Children’ you’re supposed to write the names of each one of your children.”

    “They are all named Leroy,” says the woman.

    “That’s very unusual. When you call them, how do they know which one you want?” asks the welfare worker.

    “Oh, then I use the last names.”


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