Senator orders immediate restoration of Batiano River-A A +A
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
SENATOR Franklin M. Drilon ordered the immediate removal of fishponds constructed right in the middle of the Batiano River in Barangay San Antonio, Oton, and the return of the river to its 1913 original location.
Drilon led an ocular inspection of the area over the weekend and saw the actual condition of the river and some 10 hectares of fishponds reportedly owned by a Filipino-Chinese businessman based in Iloilo City.
“The government has not approved any application for a foreshore lease agreement to anyone and I am sure there is no document legalizing these fishponds. I have checked with the concerned agencies and there is no record of allowing the proliferation of fishponds and dikes here in the river,” Drilon said.
The fishpond owner has diverted the river into a small canal outside his fishponds that flows out to the sea.
The Ilonggo senator maintained that the illegal structures that obstruct the river flow must be removed immediately as they cause frequent flooding in the area that also affects at least five river barangays in nearby Iloilo City and five in Oton.
Drilon assured the river course will be restored before the onset of the rainy season.