The City Environment and Natural Resources Office announced during the 3rd Mudball Run at the city baywalk that it will continue the bioremediation of coastal area with the use of effective microorganism (EM) mudballs.
City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Atty. Carlo B. Gomez said the City ENRO and partner i-Tree teams conduct bioremediation action in coastal area through mudballs.
It coincided with the World Clean Up Day and International Coastal Clean-up on September 21, 2019 and was participated and witnessed by national and local government offices and agencies, civil society organizations, barangay, civic groups and other stakeholders.
Atty. Gomez also intimated that this is their Story Beyond Trees, iTree Team and Partners’ action off the regular tree assessment, a mainstay project of the City ENRO supported by US Forest Service and United States Agency for International Development -Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (USAID-SURGE).
He explained that based on the literature published in Japan, where the EM mudballs originated from, the portion of their coast’s water quality has improved after the application of mudballs for 11 years straight.
“Pangatlong taon na ito ngayon at ang plano ng city government, ng DENR, ng ating mga partner at stakeholders ay magtuloy-tuloy ito for 11 years,” Atty. Gomez explained.
“Pag tuloy tuloy ito ay magkakaroon ng self-healing ang ating karagatan,” he emphasized.
Senior Environmental Management Specialist Mary Ann Joylle M. Madriñan said that in 2016 they started applying mudballs in Barangay Matahimik where families informally settled. Their office observed and based on the testimonies of the residents, after the application of EM mudballs, the population of mosquitos has significantly reduced.
“Ang mga residente mismo ang nagsasabi na nwawala ang lamok sa kanilang lugar. Yan ang kwento kaya kami nag mud ball run para gagawin natin ang paglilinis ng karagatan,” she said.
Mudball is a low-cost wastewater treatment intended to clean bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, ponds and oceans. EM mudballs are made of dried mud into which EM solution and rice bran, locally known as “darak”, has been kneaded.
EM-1 (Effective Microorganisms-1) is a microbial inoculant that encourages the growth of beneficial microbes indigenous to the environment. As these beneficial microbes grow in numbers, it increases their capabilities to bio-remediate water, soil and waste materials, therefore fixing and restoring the water bodies’ state and quality.
Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Felizardo Cayatoc of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–CENRO congratulated the City ENRO Office and Atty. Gomez for coming up with the idea of Mudball Run, which is now on its third year. He said that initiatives like this help sustain the health of our water bodies, especially the coastal areas.
“Alagaan natin ang different bays natin. With this let’s join hands together at dapat walang plastic dito,” Cayatoc urged and reminded the public.
Cecilia Isubal, city coordinator of the USAID SURGE lauded the city government’s environmental programs and the initiatives of the City ENRO like the Mudball Run, i-Tree Eco, and other initiatives.
“Napakaganda ng intiatives ng City ENRO. Masaya ang USAID SURGE na ang Puerto Princesa ay nagunguna in terms of environmental protection,” she said.
She said that the USAID also assisted the city in the updating of its Environmental Code also known as the City Ordinance 396 in order for the locality to have sound environmental policies.