‘Harsher measures’ eyed in Sapang Balen clean-up

ANGELES CITY -- The local government here, through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) will implement stricter measures in dealing with the problems of illegal structures and dumping of waste along Sapang Balen Creek.

Sapang Balen creek is one of the major waterways of the city and it cuts across seven barangays. A large number of illegal structures were built on it and residents along the river banks wantonly throw away their garbage in the waterway.

Despite efforts being done by Cenro and the City Engineer's Office, together with schools and church-based organizations, to regularly clean it up, Sapang Balen remains murky and filthy.

In recent years, Bishop Pablo David of the Holy Rosary Parish Church put a curse on anyone who throws garbage on the river.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan expressed his full support towards this program.

"The Sapang Balen Creek is one of the major waterways of this city. I am encouraging our fellow Angeleños to take part towards the improvement of Sapang Balen for the betterment of our city," the mayor said.

The rehabilitation project will center on providing solutions for the indiscriminate throwing of solid waste in the creek and the presence of informal settlers there.

In a meeting with concerned City Government agencies and barangay officials where Sapang Balen flows through, the main problems were identified and among the solutions proposed is the strict implementation of existing local ordinances and national laws on environment by penalizing those who are caught dumping trash on the river.

Illegal structures which constructed along the river will be demolished and the respective barangay will increase the frequency of garbage collection in areas near the river.

In an attempt to lessen indiscriminate throwing of solid waste, the local government urges the city’s village chiefs and every resident traversing the Sapang Balen creek to monitor and do their part in keeping their surroundings solid waste free.

The Cenro is also planning to set up screens along the edges of the river to catch the garbage being thrown to prevent it from reaching the water system. In addition, screen barriers will be set up on the barangay boundaries in order to prevent the garbage from flowing downstream to the other barangays.

"Sapang Balen Creek symbolizes the main artery of the city. If it is polluted, it will reflect on the state of cleanliness in our city. Murky and filthy water flowing through it will bring diseases, dengue-bearing mosquitoes, filth, pollution and environmental disasters. We will no longer tolerate the destruction of our environment and if we are to contribute in minimizing the effect of climate change, Sapang Balen Creek will be our battle ground," Pamintuan said.

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