Despite efforts to address the problem, improper disposal of waste, especially into Iloilo River, remains a problem.
The Iloilo City Agriculturist’s Office, in a press release, said the 15-kilometer river, which passes through the city’s 35 barangays, still suffers from pollution due to the presence of garbage.
According to City Agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon, personnel under the Iloilo River Development Project have been collecting “domestic wastes” along the riverbanks.
Most of these wastes are plastic bags, coffee cups, junk food wrappers, and diapers.
Pangantihon appealed to the public to dispose their garbage properly.
“Please refrain from throwing wastes in mangrove areas because this is not good to environment. Mangroves, especially those located at Esplanade, which is considered as one of our tourist destinations, give us the impression that we care for our river,” he said.
The Agriculturist’s Office assigned two teams at the upper and lower streams of the river to regularly check and collect the scattered garbage.
Based on the laboratory test results presented by the Ambient Water Monitoring Unit of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-6) last year, Iloilo River’s coliform level is way far above the standard, which is 200 MPN (most probable number) per 100 milliliter (mL).
EMB’s five-year physico-chemical and bacteriological study showed that Iloilo River’s coliform level had been consistently high since 2013.
The EMB recorded 380,890 MPN/100 mL in 2013; 291,240 MPN/100 mL in 2014; 119,031 MPN/100 mL in 2015; 94,524 MPN/100 mL in 2016; and 352,917 MPN/100 mL in 2017.IMT