LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Dec. 15(PIA) – – The provincial board has approved a resolution recommending to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environment Management Bureau the designation of the Amburayan River System as a Water Quality Management Area (WQMA).
The measure authored by Board Member Jim Botiwey mentioned that the present state of the water quality of the Amburayan River System requires protection and management actions by local government units and various stakeholders located within the watershed to ensure the river system’s sustainability and generate maximum benefits and welfare to the communities and stakeholders.
The Amburayan river system and its tributaries and watershed include the towns of Tublay, Kapangan, Kibungan, Buguias, Bakun, and Atok, all located in the province. It traverses the provinces of La Union and Ilocos Sur and finally drains to the West Philippine Sea.
Accordingly, the river is a potential source of water for households, industries and commercial establishments. Its water is currently used for aquaculture, agriculture and other domestic uses.
The designation of WQMA has been identified as one of the main strategies to effectively enforce the Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act of 2004 Clean Water Act to improve water quality of water bodies through focused interventions or actions that are designed to address specific water quality and quantity unique to such areas.
The resolution shall be forwarded to DENR Secretary Ramon Paje and EMB-CAR Regional Director Maria Dorica Naz-Hipe
The Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. and the Environmental Management Bureau – CAR and Region 1 in partnership with all local government units and various stakeholders are working together through series of meetings, consultations and information campaign in support for the designation of Amburayan River as WQMA.
The six towns of the province have also created and operationalized a local Water Quality Task Force.
For the river system to qualify as WQMA, it must have similar hydrological, hydro geological, meteorological or geographic conditions which affect the physicochemical, biological and bacteriological reactions and diffusions of pollutants in the water bodies, or otherwise share common interest or face similar development programs, prospects, or problems./JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet