By Ma. April M. Mier
LEGAZPI CITY, July 14 (PNA) — Four universities in the Bicol region have adopted a river each in support of the Adopt-an-Estero/Water Bodies Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol regional office or the rehabilitation of rivers, esteros and other water tributaries in the region.
The four schools are the Aquinas University of Legazpi (AUL), which adopted the Yawa River in Barangay Rawis, this city; Catanduanes State University (CSU), which adopted the Gogon River in Virac, Catanduanes; Partido State University (PSU), the Kulasi Bridge Creek at San Jose Street, in Goa, Camarines Sur; and University of Saint Anthony (USANT), the Lake Bato along Barangay Santiago and San Miguel, in Bato, Camarines Sur.
Each university conducted different activities to rehabilitate their adopted water bodies such as regular cleanup and coordination with the community and educating its members through the National Service Training Program (NSTP).
The universities also regularly monitor and inspect their respective adopted areas to determine their plan of action to best preserve the adopted water body.
For their worthwhile projects, the four universities got awards from the DENR’s Environment Management Bureau (EMB).
The recognition was conferred during the annual Saringaya Awards of the DENR under the Greening the Blue Awards Category of the said event as a culminating program of the celebration of the Philippine Environment Month at Hotel St. Ellis in this city.
The USANT bested other awardee-universities as the best school in the category with its preservation program on Lake Bato by clearing and gathering unwanted water hyacinths to lessen their negative impact on the lake.
It also conducted dialogues with presidents of various campus organizations, ROTC students, municipal agriculturist, and Lake Bato technicians to orient them on the Greening the Blue Water Program.
The university also presented the program to Mayor Jeanette Bernaldez, initiated a forum about the program attended by different sectors in the community, launched a “Fun Run Para sa Kasaraditan asin Kapalibutan” to raise funds for the program, lead tree-planting activities and estero clean-up drives, and distributed information materials on the project.
Meanwhile, the AUL, PSU, and CSU focused on regular clean-up of their adopted water bodies.They also planted trees as natural control for soil erosion and flooding.
The USANT received Php2,000 cash prize, gift check worth Php3,000 from the Philippine Geothermal Inc., and a certificate of recognition.
The AUL CSU and PSU each received Php2,000 worth of gift checks and certificates of appreciation.
The Greening the Blue (Students Save our waters: Adopt-an-Estero/Water Body) is under the Adopt-an-Estero Program.
It focuses on the involvement of schools through the NSTP coordinators and students, private sector partners and barangays to save the river ecosystem from further degradation and revive its ecological balance through educating the residents about solid waste management. (PNA)