River is life-A A +A
By Nerie Bayan
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
WITH two thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 75 percent of it, it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth. Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving, replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material. Further in the body, it regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood and glandular secretions.
Rivers have been very useful to men in all parts of the earth since very early times. They provide water to slake the thirst of men, to fertilize their lands and to provide a means of communication for the goods that transport from place to place.
If such importance applies all throughout the world, so it does in our own city. Located in a mountainous and elevated area, there are streams and rivers in the Baguio City. It has to be realized that a river does not end within the boundaries of the city or municipality as it carries on and flows downstream and fuse with other forms of bodies of water. Among others in the city, one of the destinations of the streams flow to the Balili River.
Law on gravity explains that whatever is up goes down, do with the water upon the streams within Baguio, along with whatever particles or components it possess flow downstream, along with the toxic and garbage.
The second quarter meeting of the Balili River System Revitalization Coalition was held last June 14, 2012 at La Trinidad, Benguet. The various members, composed of representatives of the LGUs concerned, Hon. Joel Alangsab and CEPMO, representing the City Government of Baguio, Mayor Greg Abalos of La Trinidad Benguet, Board Member Nelson Dangwa representing Benguet Province, Mayor Arthur Baldo of Sablan Benguet; other members composed of the DENR, NGOs, volunteers and the academe, each reporting out their office’s effort to contribute in achieving the coalition’s objective to revitalize the present status of the Balili River.
The legislators presented their efforts within their respective offices. Hon. Joel Alangsab, Liga President (Baguio City), for his part reported out his proposed ordinance pending in the City Council entitled “Declaring September 16 every year as Balili River Day”, when approved will institutionalize the Balili Day Celebration in Baguio. The purpose of the proposed legislation includes: to promote advocacy and commitment to rehabilitate and revitalize the Balili River system; to enjoin the participation of households, barangay officials and the constituents identified as contributors to the Balili River pollution to do their part in cleaning the Balili River; to instill in the minds of the students and the younger generation of what used to be the Balili River, and of its present status, and that the revitalization and rehabilitation of such is also their responsibility; and to further the campaign in the rehabilitation of the Balili River.
A proposed resolution also authored by Hon. Joel A. Alangsab is a request to the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (CAR) to reclassify the classifications of rivers within the city. According to the records of the DENR-EMB, the rivers of the city, including that of Balili River is under the Class A classification which means that such water is clean enough as a drinking water, which in reality is not the case. The proper classification identified, will pave way to the proper actions by the concerned government and non-government offices.
More than a year has passed since the birth of the coalition (BRSRC), and it is expected that somehow, there were changes, more optimistically inclined. Hon. Greg Abalos at the closing of the quarterly meeting expressed that “behavior is one of the most difficult to change”.
Although behavior could not be altered within a 24 hours time, it would be best off to start with an understanding of the importance of water, not only to economy and agriculture, but to life itself. Some, if not, most of us, probably has the idea that the rivers or streams provide a convenient means of disposing garbage, because when the rain pours, such garbage or waste that we throw at these rivers are washed away, without careful thought that such garbage did not disappear, merely displaced to another location. It has been a source of pollution when thrown in the stream within Baguio City, and it remains the same, still a piece of pollutant, wherever it might have been brought by the streaming river.
There is a need to instill in ourselves the needed discipline if it is of our intention to leave a healthful ecology for the future generation. The future cannot act where there is no more left to save; but it is in our hands, the present generation, to ensure that they will have something to savor in the future.
The Comelec Satellite Registration for District 7 composed of Crresencia Village, Guisad Central, Guisad Surong, Padre Burgos, Pinsao Pilot Project Padre Zamora, and Sto. Niño-Slaughterhouse will be held on June 23, 2012 at Sto. Niño-Slaughterhouse Barangay. All qualified registrants and others who have COMELEC concerns such as transfer of registration may proceed to the said venue on said date. Please bring valid ID.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 21, 2012.