THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office in Iloilo City has reiterated its advisory that the Iloilo River is not yet safe and healthy for swimming.

This after DENR Regional Director Jim Sampulna said that Ilonggo Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has given his office a six-month ultimatum to clean the river of fecal coliform concentration and other debris starting March to September this year.

However, Sampulna said the main problem lies on the presence of several households along the river and its tributaries which is beyond the control of the DENR.

Sampulna said that Resolution No. 2014-01 of the Iloilo-Batiano River Development Council (IBRDC) is now being implemented by adopting Oplan Sustainable Workplan for Iloilo River Management (SWIM) as a program for the improvement of Iloilo River and its tributaries Dungon and Calajunan creeks in Iloilo City.

The river council master development plan focuses on the need to improve water quality of the Iloilo River and its tributaries in order to promote tourism activities along the Iloilo River such as boating, swimming, kayaking and other related water contact sports.

A total of 12 watch stations were established along the 15-kilometer river in this city and it was noted that the fecal coliform concentration decreased during the summer season.

Other watch stations are at the Quirino Bidge, Forbes Bridge, Sooc Bridge, Dungon mouth of the river, upstream Calajunan creek, Carpenter’s Bridge, Dungon Bridge, Calajunan downstream of dumpsite, Calajunan downstream of industries and Mambog creek.