By Oliver T. Baccay
APARRI, Cagayan — A marine geologist from the University of the Philippines-Diliman Dr. Fernando Siringan, who conducted a bathymetric study in the lower Cagayan River, has recommended to the provincial government officials to dredge the silted parts of the river.
Siringan’s study shows that the Cagayan River is heavily silted due to erosion and found that there is constriction in the channel due to sand bar growth which causes severe flooding during rainy season.
“Dredging will lessen flooding problem and reduce river bank erosion. The geomorphic study of the Cagayan River also helps evaluate potential sites for the establishment of a port in the mouth of the river,” Siringan stated.
Siringan cautioned officials that dredging cannot be a long term solution of flooding. There must be programs which help prevent soil erosion like tree planting in the upland and mangrove planting along the seashore.
In his study, Siringan stated that there is a huge reserve of black sand content in the whole stretch of lower Cagayan River but he cautioned the officials to carefully study how it can be utilized for the benefit of the people and economic growth without sacrificing the environment and the marine resources.
Siringan also recommended to the provincial government to put up a black sand processing plant as there are enough resources in the province instead of selling them to other countries at a minimal cost.#