Vice Governor Melvin K. Vargas, Jr. said the ordinance ensures safe, sustainable and responsible dredging in any part of the famous Cagayan River, especially those areas that are rich of magnetite minerals.
He said the ordinance requires all dredging proponents to pass through the necessary environmental permits, clearances and other requirements.
“We should ensure that the dredging activities will not compromise the lives and livelihood of the people and if we will establish a port to allow economic activities, we should ensure that these are resilient to disasters and will not destroy the natural resources that we have,” Vargas said.
The ordinance was passed amid the provincial government’s plan to dredge the mouth of the Cagayan River for the reopening of the Port of Aparri to allow product trade with the well-developed countries in the north.
There have been foreign firms that proposed for the dredging of the Cagayan River to be used for reclamation activities to establish an airport in other countries.
Vargas emphasized that they want the involvement of agencies that are mandated to ensure implementation of environmental laws such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Transportation and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
“One important thing to consider is the acceptance of the communities affected. If there is resistance from the affected people, then we should respect that,” Vargas said.
The vice governor also cleared that the legislative department only wants to ensure that the resources of the province will be utilized for the betterment of the people and for the development of the province’ economy. (ALM/MDCT/OTB/PIA-Cagayan)
By Oliver T. Baccay