THE CITY Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) has started removing water hyacinths or water lilies which began to clog the Cagayan de Oro River.
Together with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Northern Mindanao, and the Philippine Coast Guard, Clenro began the clean up last Tuesday, January 21, with the purpose of preventing the clogging of the river come May.
"Ang atong purpose is karon lugar murag wala nay ulan unya dayon didto na na sa May. So kun moabot og May gikan paspas kaayo ang kining pagtubo sa water hyacinth, possible nga wala nay makit-ang tubig," Clenro chief engineer Armen Cuenca said.
However, this doesn't mean that they will be clearing all water hyacinth in the river as according to Cuenca, the plant has its "special function."
"Dili sya hutdon kay naa syay special function. Ang water hyacinth sya ang mo-filter sa mga heavy metals," Cuenca said.
"Tanan nga mga toxic chemicals, heavy metals, nga gikan sa mga drainage, sya ang mosala. Mao nang dili sya anay patyon kay makatabang sya but i-regulate lang, kulangan lang sya aron dili mapuno ang atong suba," he added.
The Clenro chief further said that water hyacinths grow in dirty bodies of water, which explains why they are usually found in drainage.
Last week's clean-up of water hyacinth was in line to the Zero Waste Month usually celebrated in January and on Friday, January 24, was the culmination of the said event.