December 8, 2022

The city government eyes the rehabilitation of its riverbeds observed to be now mostly concreted.

City Environment and Parks Management Office Head Rhenan Diwas said concreting of the streambeds only aggravates the water pollution and flooding problem in the city. 

He said concreting prevents natural water filtration, seeping in, and aquifer recharging processes from taking place.

“The original state of the waterbeds and the walls of the waterway help in the purification of the water flowing through them. It also stems the flow and enables recharging of groundwater aquifers,” he said.

He said re-naturalization is in order to recover the nature-like structure of the streambed.

“This is why the Baguio Blue Walk Project was conceptualized. This project aims to rehabilitate all river beds to their natural state so that the water passing through them can self-purify, penetrate the ground aquifers and rejuvenate the quality of water,” he said.

The Blue Walk program does not only cover the cleanup and restoration of the creeks and tributaries of the Balili River to their natural and habitable state but also involves the conservation of Busol watershed and augmentation of the water supply by harnessing surface water. 

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the project was hatched to address the long-time problems on squatting and water supply shortage at the Busol watershed which is the biggest source of potable water in the city and the pollution of the Balili River.

Diwas said the program took shape upon the mayor’s order for the conceptualization of the Busol Watershed Management Plan, which gave rise to the planned creation of the Community-Based Watershed Management Area that integrates community participation and engagement in watershed conservation. These programs are being aggressively pursued in line with the city’s thrust to address the effects of environmental degradation and stem urban decay. – Aileen P. Refuerzo