LCEs reminded of role against illegal river structures

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ROXAS CITY, Capiz - Capiz Governor Antonio Del Rosario called anew the concerned local chief executives on their responsibility to clear the riverbank easement.

In the recent meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, Del Rosario asked the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) of the liability of the local chief executives on their inaction relative to the illegal structures along the river banks after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources here reported that it has monitored 649 illegal structures both concrete and semi-concrete structures in the river ways and riverbank easement.

DILG Assistant Regional Director and concurrent Capiz provincial director Maria Calpiza Sardua said that the mayors, barangay captains or governor can be held liable for their inaction on said problem. She added that they will again notify the concerned local chief executives in view of the anti-squatting law.

Article 51 of Presidential Decree No. 1067, otherwise known as the Water Code of the Philippines, provides for the distance which person shall not be allowed within said zone.

The law provides that the banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas, twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas and forty (40) meters in forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage.

“No person shall be allowed to stay in this zone longer than what is necessary for recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing or salvage or to build structures of any kind,” the law specifies.

On the other hand, Capiz DENR Technical Services Division Chief Edwin Borja said that they have committed to the Panay River Council chaired by Governor Del Rosario to conduct monitoring and inventory of the illegal structures and illegal settlers within the river ways and river bank easement.

The Council aims to rid the river of pollutants and protect it after it was reported that the Panay River is already polluted with human waste and not suitable for seashell production and culture. (JCM/JBG/PIA6)

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