Conduct of interview with a local resident concerning the flood occurrences, flood duration, and flood intensities caused by the swelling/overflowing of Malugao River, Paluan. Also shown in this photo is a natural sand bar deposited by the opposing forces of ocean waves and river current.

A team from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA region and the provincial government of Occidental Mindoro carried out the delineation of proposed river dredging zones (RDZ) in the province of Occidental Mindoro on January 19-23, 2021.
 
MGB MIMAROPA geologists and personnel from the Provincial Government-Environment and Natural Resources Office assessed Mananao River, Gayamat River, Malugao River, Mariil River, and Calagingan River in the municipality of Paluan; and Balagnan River and Udalo River in the municipality of Abra de Ilog in continuation of the RDZ assessment undertaken in July 2020 which covered 21 major rivers and some minor streams in the entire province.

Photo showing the heavily silted channel of Gayamat River


In compliance with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2020-07 which rationalizes dredging activities in heavily silted river channels, and DPWH-DENR-DILG-DOTR Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2019 or the “Guidelines on the Issuance of Clearance and/or Permit for Dredging within Waterways or Other Inland Bodies of Water,” the said activity aimed at assisting the Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro in determining strategic zones where river dredging could help alleviate flood hazards for exposed communities.
 
Aside from the identification of RDZs, the assessment also intended to determine possible economic mineral content of the river deposits which could provide additional income to the province in accordance with Section 1, Article III of DAO 2019-14.
 
It was noted that there is a surplus of sand and gravel deposits across multiple rivers in the province, but only those that have adverse effects to communities (population, building, infrastructure) are considered in the RDZ delineation.

Ocular inspection and sediment sampling at the midstream portion of Mananao River, Paluan, Occidental Mindoro

Based on the assessment conducted, Mananao and Udalo Rivers are proposed as priority rivers for dredging since these are reported to cause extensive flooding in the nearby communities and built-up areas. Meanwhile, only a small portion of the sediment-clogged deltas of Malugao, Gayamat, and Balagnan Rivers is recommended for dredging, while no dredging zones were implemented in the rivers of Calangigan and Mariil.
 
The identified RDZs by the MGB MIMAROPA Region will only be supplementary to the DPWH Dredging Master Plan, and that the designation of exclusive RDZ shall be upon the discretion of the Inter-Agency Committee chaired by the Provincial Governor.

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