ILOILO City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has given all fishpen operators at the Iloilo River until September 15 to remove their contraptions that impede the flow of the river.

After the given date, the City Government will take drastic actions to remove the fishpens, said Mabilog.

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Some 75 operators of fishpens locally known as "punot" from South San Jose in Molo district to Sooc in Arevalo district were assured of P3,000 assistance fund for the removal of their illegal river structures.

Notices were also delivered to take out their fishpens as these are illegal structures that accumulate silt and other floating debris that eventually block the river flow.

Mabilog said his administration is very serious in implementing environmental laws. He added that an inventory of fishpens and other illegal structures in the river is ongoing from Barangay San Pedro to North San Jose, all in Molo district.

Earlier, Mabilog ordered city agriculturist Josegil Parreñas to remove all illegal structures in the Iloilo River following reports that illegal fish contraptions are enjoying a boom at the Iloilo River.

Mabilog was informed by members of the Iloilo River Development Council about several structures still remaining at the river, especially from the Carpenter Bridge in Mandurriao district up to Barangay Sooc in Arevalo.

These structures impede the flow of the river, especially during heavy rains and typhoons, and must be removed immediately as a disaster risk management and mitigation process, he said.

Mabilog said he is not amenable to any structure in the river and would ask the City Council to immediately enact a regulation ordinance to preserve the area. (LCP)