By virtue of the Memorandum Letter signed by Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo, Jr., Undersecretary for Field Operations of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-10 is directed to create a composite team to conduct site investigation/assessment on the Discoloration of Iponan River.
MGB-10 then spearheaded the creation of a composite team or the “ Unified Task Force Iponan” which is primarily tasked to address the perennial problem of siltation and sedimentation of Iponan River brought about primarily by illegal hydraulicking operations along the river and vicinity particularly the upland Barangays of Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City, and Opol, Misamis Oriental.
The Unified IponanTask Force is composed of seventeen committed entities,as follows:
• Department of Environment and Natural Resources- (DENR-10)
• Mines and Geosciences Bureau – (MGB-10)
• Environmental Management Bureau- (EMB-10)
• Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office - (PENRO) Malasag, Cagayan de Oro City
• Community Environment and Natural Resources Office – (CENRO) Cagayan de Oro City
• Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) - Iligan City
• City Government of Cagayan de Oro
• Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental
• City Government of Iligan
• Municipal Government of Opol, Misamis Oriental
• Municipal Government of Manticao – Misamis Oriental
• 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army –Camp Evangelista, Patag – Cagayan de Oro City
• 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Camp Maj. Cesar L. Sang-an, Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
• Tactical Operations Group-10 of the Philippine Air Force – Lumbia Airport
• Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City (through the Social Action Center)
• Philippine Information Agency (PIA-10) – Cagayan de Oro City
The Unified Iponan Task Force is in the last-phase of finalizing it’s Memorandum of Agreement that defines and delineates the functions, duties and responsibilities of participating agencies.
The agreement is aimed towards achieving their gigantic mission of working together and putting a stop on all illegal hydraulicking operations in the identified areas and preventing the illegal miners from going back to hydraulicking operations once it is put to a halt by the Task Force.
Apart from finding effective solutions to the recurring siltation and sedimentation problems of Iponan River, the Task Force also aims to continually plan and implement strategies that would lead to the final solution of the problem taking into consideration also the social aspects of the situation. Cecilia C. Tan, Information Officer-II, Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro, Regional Office No. 10, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources