PENRO Antique calls for public support on Malandog River ecotourism project

Giant statues of the famed 10 Bornean datus (left) will soon adorn Sitio Sumakel in Brgy. Malandog, Hamtic, Antique, immortalizing their heritage in Antique and the whole of Panay Island. Malandog River (as viewed from DENR PENRO Antique building) still provides a safe anchorage for boats among Antiqueño fishermen. (DENR PENRO Antique)

The province of Antique, touted as the place “where the mountains meet the sea,” is yet about to rise from the great onslaught of typhoon Paeng. But no storms will ever dampen the zeal of Antique from striving for greater improvements.

During the recent meeting of the Malandog River Rehabilitation and Development Project (MaRiReDep), DENR Antique Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Cynthia Blancia called on all partner agencies and stakeholders to continue supporting the efforts poured into the project.

The rehabilitation and development of the Malandog River was snowballed after a thorough water quality assessment by the team of Environmental Management Bureau in 2017.

Former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu then called Malandog River an “ancient tourism destination” owing to the historical fact that it attracted the ten Bornean datus to its pristine waters.

In the offing is the implementation of Malandog’s tourism development plan which would include the display of larger-than-life statues of the ten Bornean datus in Sitio Sumakwel, Brgy. Malandog, Hamtic, Antique.

Standing at a height of 15 feet, the statues are made of concrete with bronze coating and were sculpted by John Alaban.

It immortalizes the heritage of the Bornean datus and reinforces the importance of Malandog River as the cradle of civilization in Panay Island especially in the consciousness of the younger generations.

Also part of the tourism development will be the Malandog River floating restaurant, and a river cruise

MaRiReDep Task Force members also encouraged the general public to invest in any of the activities they implement since one of the objectives of Malandog River Ecotourism is to encourage community engagement to generate jobs for economic upliftment. There is also a plan to adopt trash traps and set-up of boundaries of each barangay with rivers identified as tributaries of Malandog river.

“Our barangay captains play a big role in achieving clean and quality water for Malandog River through our strict implementation of the solid waste management. We further need to relocate the informal settlers who took up dwelling along the legal easement of the river,” said PENRO Cynthia Blancia.

“Our aim is to ensure a sustainable future for all Antiqueños. As long as we work together and cooperate for the good of our environment and the people, we can achieve our goals,” said Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (DENR-6)