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Benguet councilor proposes Sept. 16 as ‘Balili River Day’


A municipal councilor in La Trinidad, Benguet wants to have a special day to promote the conservation of the 23-kilometer Balili River, whose condition is slowly deteriorating due to pollution.

Councilor Roderick Awingan said every 16th of September should be declared a “Balili River Day”.

Balili River traverses Baguio City and the municipalities of La Trinidad and Sablan before entering the province of La Union, where it is named the Naguilian River.

Awingan said the proposed ordinance is aimed to encourage the protection of the river, which is still classified as “Class A” in 1975.

“Its water is intended for public water supply, meant to get minimal treatment and its water can be used for drinking but over the years its condition continuously deteriorated with its classification not being revised to fit its condition,” he pointed out.

Awingan proposed the creation of a steering committee to oversee activities for the Balili River day celebration.
Pollution to the river peaked anew in the ‘90s after the strong earthquake, when development boomed for Baguio, infusing massive populations.

Awingan said the river serves as a primary source of food and livelihood for people living in the area and nearby towns.