The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered private contractors to shoulder the expenses of dredging operations in river dredging zones (RDZ) nationwide in exchange for the minerals that they would recover from the areas.
In a memorandum signed by DENR secretary Roy Cimatu, the department disclosed that no funding from the government will be given to local government units (LGU) for dredging activities conducted by the private sector.
It also added that LGUs interested in undertaking river restoration projects in their areas of responsibility should first submit a letter of intent to the DENR.
In the same memorandum, Cimatu said: “holders of dredging clearance should provide the financing, technology, management and personnel necessary to implement dredging activities within the exclusive RDZ.”
He added that only registered companies with technical and financial capabilities to undertake large-scale flood control dredging and desilting operations may apply for a clearance with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The memorandum which seeks to rationalize dredging activities in the country also provides that private contractors will have to shoulder all the expenses of the dredging operation in exchange for whatever minerals it may recover, provided it pays the required national and local taxes.
The RDZ will be identified by a provincial inter-agency committee composed of the provincial governor as chairman, the DENR regional executive director as vice-chairman, and the regional directors of the DPWH, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Environmental Management Bureau as members.