In line with Republic Act No. 9275, also known as The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) XII together with the Silway River Water Quality Management Area (SRWQMA) Governing Board members and partner agencies conducted the 2022 Silway River Week Culmination Program on April 22, 2022 at Veranza Mall, General Santos City.
During the program, Mr. Willie V. Loyola, RChem, MSERM, Chief of Water Quality Management Unit representing the EMB XII Regional Director Omar M. Saikol, MiSDS, emphasized that the week-long celebration, as part of the intensified information, education, communication campaign, not only by the Bureau but the whole SRWQMA, is important to conserve, protect and sustain the good quality of the Silway River. He also added that well-informed and responsible citizens are the key to investing in our planet.
EnP. Allan Marcilla, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer of the Local Government Unit of General Santos stressed the impact and importance of addressing the various problems along Silway River to prevent the possible future environmental issues like shortage of water supply, especially in a highly urbanized city like General Santos City. He also encouraged the SRWQMA Governing Board members and youth to take part in the future activities for the protection of the said river.
During the program, Mr. Loyola announced the winners for the two (2) online contests, namely: Mobisode Making Contest, in which, Mr. Hartley Ferrer, Mr. Stephen Mart Faki,and Mr. Vince Ivan Vesiete earned the first to third place respectively; and Infographic Design Competition, by order of first to third place: Mr. Iben Oliveros, Dohniero Lozano for the and Prince Lloyd Besorio.
The partners for the week-long celebration were commended, namely: Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Economic Development Authority, National Commission on Indigenous People for the National Government Agencies; Local Government Units of General Santos City, Polomolok, Tupi and T’boli; National Irrigation Authority, Protected Area Management Board, Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development/Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, National Water Regulatory Board, Polomolok Water District, Matutum Meat Packing Corporation, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, South Cotabato Swine Producers, Association, Mahintana Foundation Incorporated for Sectoral Representatives, Veranza Mall, Brigada News Gensan and Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College Gensan (RMMC).
With the year’s theme “Sagipin ang Ilog na Likas; Wagas na agos ng Yaman ang Katumbas!” these activities manifested the main goal of Silway River WQMA to heighten the environmental awareness and knowledge of the stakeholders and the riverine communities about the said WQMA, along with its importance, current issues, and concerns, and bring about the possible schemes to address these riverine problems. The active participation of the communities, stakeholders and youths to participate in the future activities is vital to the successful rehabilitation and conservation of Silway River.