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The Sangguniang Panlungsod has approved Ordinance No. 1018 Series of 2023, declaring the Sawaga River and its surrounding areas within the jurisdiction of Malaybalay City as a priority conservation area.
During the 39th regular session on April 18, 2023, Hon. Alan Ryann O. Legaspi presented the proposed ordinance for the conservation of the Sawaga River and its vicinities within Malaybalay City.
The Local Government Units are mandated to ensure the implementation of reasonable and practical measures to protect, restore, and enhance the quality of the environment, in line with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
The City Government of Malaybalay is committed to promoting the preservation, protection, and revival of the ecosystem through the prevention, control, and reduction of air, water, and land pollution. This approach aims to minimize environmental damage while fostering the sustained development of the city.
The Sawaga Watershed, which encompasses approximately 54% (around 58,025.75 hectares) of Malaybalay City’s total land area, is the largest among its three watersheds. It originates from the watershed of Barangay Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.
The Sawaga River plays a significant role in the economic, social, and ecological development of the entire city.
The approved ordinance encompasses various measures to safeguard and preserve the Sawaga River, its legal easement, and its vicinity within the territorial jurisdiction of Malaybalay City.
It also includes programs aimed at conserving the river’s water quality and quantity, maintaining ecological balance, promoting culture and tradition, and protecting people and communities against natural calamities and risks.
To ensure proper implementation, the Sawaga Watershed Management Council will be established, working in coordination with other relevant agencies.
After thorough deliberations during the 47th regular session on June 13, 2023, the ordinance passed and was approved on the third reading. City Mayor Jay Waren R. Pabillaran also expressed his support for and commitment to implementing the ordinance.