Rivers are the lifeblood of the Earth and of the human civilization. They act as drainage channels of surface waters, and carry water and nutrients through great distances. Rivers also serve as habitat and provide food to many organisms.

In the Philippines, there are 18 major river basins and 421 principal rivers. As of 2017, (337) of the total number of classified principal and small rivers are under Class C was put at 337. Class C means that the water is intended for fishery where propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources is feasible.

Due to threats from agricultural, domestic, industrial, negligence and mistreatment of the people to our rivers, only a few are considered healthy and sustainable.

Thus, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched the “Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (R.I.V.E.R.S.) for Life Award” in July this year, which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect and conserve the rivers in the country.

The award was conceived to recognize the efforts of DENR’s field officials in implementing and enforcing environmental laws and other initiatives to protect rivers from pollution and other threats.

In order for a river to be considered in R.I.V.E.R.S for Life award, it should meet the following criteria: Aesthetic and Water Quality Improvement, Solid Waste Management, Partnership and Community Mobilization, Information and Education Campaign (IEC) and other activities interventions and innovations.

The contest is open to all incumbent Supervising and Implementing DENR’s provincial offices, together with their respective Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs). The period of participation is for one year (July-May) and every year thereafter.

“This award is an inspiration to not only the people working towards the betterment of our rivers but also to inspire the public that rivers should be protected and conserved. We should have concerted efforts in order to assure their sustainability and bring back their true purpose,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Jim O Sampulna.

The awarding of winners will be announced on June 10, 2019 during the DENR’s Anniversary Celebration. ###