October 2, 2023

Environment Management Bureau-Cordillera Director Ma. Victoria Abrera reiterated the call for local government units, national line agencies, and other stakeholders to continue pushing for the revitalization of the Bued and Balili rivers.

Abrera, the Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) Governing Board chairperson for the Bued and Balili river system, acknowledged the efforts of the LGUs and government agencies, but said much is still desired in terms of the rivers’ revitalization.

Based on the first quarter 2023 monitoring and water sampling of the EMB-Cordillera and the Baguio City Environment and Parks Management Office, water quality in both rivers remain a concern, constantly failing the standard level for the parameters of dissolve oxygen, suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand and fecal coliform.

The identified causes of pollutants are household and animal wastes, wastes from businesses such as restaurants, resorts, car wash, small scale mining, and seepage from sewerage systems, among the other contributors.

Abrera sought cooperation in terms of information, education, and communication campaigns; cleanup and tree planting activities; and strict enforcement of environmental laws.

The Bued River system runs through Baguio City and Tuba and Itogon, Benguet while the Balili River system runs through Baguio City and La Trinidad and Sablan, also in Benguet.

Concerned LGUs have lined up regular cleanup activities for both rivers and water tributaries, IEC campaigns and strict monitoring of compliance with environment laws and other local ordinances.

In partnership with the governing board member agencies, there are also scheduled cleanup activities and other river revitalization programs and projects scheduled this year. – Carlito Dar