DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez held a dialogue with the different barangay officials of Mangin and Tebeng in Dagupan as well as those from Ambonao and San Miguel, Calasiao, Pangasinan on Friday and discussed the reported high phosphate level of the Bayaoas/Parongking River.
This stemmed from a letter of one Felicidad Salazar Visser of Tebeng to Barangay Tebeng Council on Jan. 6 calling attention on the death of different river species like tilapia, malaga (siganid), catfish and mudfish in her fishpond sometime last November 2015.
When Visser had the water tested by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, it was found out that its salinity was low at 0.5 ppt. but the phosphate level was however high at 0.788.
The maximum safe level of phosphate in the water is 0.4, showing in that phosphate level (0.788), the water was polluted.
In her letter, Visser also reported that dead fish were also seen floating in the river which meant that the problem was not in her fishpond.
She also noted the presence of different trash and floating garbage, like empty sachets and plastic bags among others, which obviously came from upstream.
Not only is this unhealthy but it is unsightly as well, Visser mentioned this in her letter.
To help the city determine the source of high phosphate level in the river, Mayor Fernandez requested the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office represented by Senior Environmental Management Specialist Edward V. Vergara to determine whether the different big industrial companies operating along the area are indeed complying with the environmental regulation viz-a-viz the dumping of industrial waste.
“Our meeting was fruitful and I suggested that we also establish a link with Calasiao Mayor Roy Macanlalay so he can also be notified about the incident and probably help us identify which establishments or industrial companies are operating near the river tributary and make a strong stand as well in cleaning the river by urging every resident living along the river not to dump their garbage in the waterway,” said Fernandez.
"But foremost, we would like to find out first what causes the high level of phosphate in the river," she added.
The mayor will meet again with the concerned barangay residents by the first week of February to find out who the culprits are and make the necessary actions to save the river’s marine products from destruction. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)