Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) XII Regional Director Felizardo A. Gacad, Jr. convened on September 4, 2020 at the MGB XII Conference Room, Koronadal City, the organizational meeting of the South Cotabato Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) created under Item VII, Section 1 of DENR Administrative Order No. 2020-07, “Rationalizing Dredging Activities in Heavily-Silted River Channels pursuant to the DENR-DPWH-DILG-DOTR Joint Memorandum Circular No.1 Series of 2019” (JMC 2019-01).

In attendance were Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XII Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer, Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) XII Assistant Regional Director Rosie C. Javate, South Cotabato Provincial Environment Management Officer Siegfried Flaviano, and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) XII representative Engr. Bolawan M. Sambarani.

Engr. John Mikel P. Ansao, MGB XII OIC - Mine Management Division presented the JMC 2019-01, re: “Guidelines in the Issuance of Clearance and/or Permit Within Waterways or Other Inland Bodies of Water.” The presentation focused on the permitting procedures for and process involved in the utilization of dredged materials with commercial disposition. “Experts will say, we really need to dredge but we have to follow guidelines” RED Alicer emphasized during the meeting.

The committee requested DPWH XII ARD Javate to provide the IAC with a copy of the DPWH River Dredging Master Plan for the province as one of the bases for the identification of a River Dredging Zone (RDZ) to be declared as such by the IAC. The said RDZ is an exclusive area where dredging activities shall be allowed and quarrying strictly prohibited.

MGB XII OIC RD Gacad (5th from left) presiding the IAC South Cotabato meeting with DENR XII RED Atty. Felix S. Alicer (6th from left).