SAN JOSE, Antique – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has expressed concern over the high level of fecal coliform bacteria in Bugang River of Pandan, Antique.
Based on the recent test conducted by the agency, the fecal and coliform level in Bugang River has reached 14,000 most probable number (MPN).
“Bugang River’s fecal coliform reached 14,000 MPN per milliliter of water based on the water quality sampling conducted from January to June this year,” EMB-6 regional director Ramar Neil Pascua said, adding that the average milliliter should only be at 100.
“We are now investigating the water source of above average level of coliform in Pandan. In Boracay, we already referred it to the Department of Health,” Pascua said.
Based on the monitoring of EMB, the fecal coliform bacteria mainly came from the open defecation of animals and human in the hinterland parts of the town.
The high level of coliform bacteria was monitored in the upstream river of Pandan. The water flows down through the recreational waters of Malumpati Cold Spring, Naranjo Water Park among others.
The Pandan town through the Bugang River currently enjoys the spillover of tourists from Boracay.
The Bugang River was awarded by the DENR in 2008 as the cleanest inland body of river in the country.
“This matter has already brought out to our environmental champions Environment secretary Roy Cimatu and Antique Cong. Loren Legarda,” said Pascua.
Meanwhile, town mayor Plaridel Sanchez said that he will be creating a task force to clean the Bugang River stretch by 2023.
“I am calling all the residents for cooperation. You can panic with these report but everyone should help together,” he said.
Pandan vice mayor Raymond Donato Gumboc said that they will also adopt the five year (2019-2023) rehabilitation plan once it reaches his office./PN