THE leadership of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) has called on the stakeholders to support the conservation of the Cagayan River in order to strengthen the management of the Cagayan River Basin (CRB).
The Cagayan River, known as the Rio Grande de Cagayan, is the Philippines’ longest river with a total length of approximately 505 kilometers, as well as its largest by discharge volume of water.
The river has a drainage basin covering 27,753 square kilometers and flows north to its mouth at the Babuyan Channel near the town of Aparri. It traverses the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan.
During heavy downpours brought about by typhoons, the Cagayan River and its tributaries have caused great loss of life and property and substantial losses to the local and national economies.
As a response, the government has established several flood warning stations along the river with experts monitoring the particular downstream from Tuguegarao City to Aparri town in Cagayan province and the alluvial plain from Ilagan City to Tumauini town in Isabela province.
According to Carolyn Tumamao, DENR Region 2 information officer, the Cagayan River Basin Management Council-Technical Working Group (TWG) recently met in Tuguegarao City to heighten the protection and management of the Cagayan River basin.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from various national government agencies, local government units and the academe.
Marcos Dacanay, DENR Region 2 assistant executive director for technical services who represented DENR Region 2 Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, rallied stakeholders for their continued support toward the conservation of the river.
During the meeting, Jose Bueno Jr., DENR Region 2 Development Management officer, presented the results of renaming the delineated sub-watershed areas within the CRB in accordance with DENR Memorandum Circular 2022-04, also known as the “Guidelines for the Naming of Watersheds in the Philippines.”
Bueno explained that the renaming of sub-watersheds will provide a unique identity useful in the formulation of Integrated Watershed Management Plans, ease of retrieval of data and implementation of activities, plans and interventions within watersheds.
Weather specialist Antonio Pagalilauan of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) also presented its proposal on the supply, delivery, training and commissioning of the radar profiler for the CRB Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC).
Pagalilauan noted that the upgrading and improvement of CRB-FFWC is part of Pagasa’s efforts in disaster risk reduction management and enhancement of its meteorological and hydrological services within the CRB.
Representing the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Rex Victor Cruz also updated the TWG on the status of the Integrated River Basin Management and Development Master Plan (IRBMDMP) for the CRB.
Cruz explained that the IRBMDMP shall be the basis for crafting policies, rules and regulations for sustainable management within the watersheds.