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Silt in waterways converted to fertilizer

BULUAN, Maguindanao – A massive dredging scheduled in this province is set not only to alleviate flooding but also produce fertilizers out of silted waterways.

Provincial Engineer Abdulrahmam Asim said two amphibious dredging machines were delivered last Friday to the provincial government by the Jinyi Import and Export Trading Co. Inc. (JIETCI), a Davao-based Chinese firm supplying modern heavy equipment.

The JIETCI won the bidding conducted earlier by the provincial government for the two dredging machines custom-built for the geographic settings of rivers and marshes in Maguindanao

“The supplying firm is expected to send in Filipino technicians in few days to train our workers in the operation of the machines, which cost some R14-million each,” said Asim.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu revealed that river silt contains high grade fertilizer ingredients that can be generated substantially in the impending massive dredging of all streams and marshes in the province.

Mangudadatu said sediments excavated from streams would be piled up on river banks for landscaping and planting with water-resistant plants to serve as flood control walls.

Other river sediments will be used as component ingredients for processing of organic fertilizers to be distributed and applied in farming villages.

“In a nutshell, we have a three-pronged thrust that will clear our rivers of silt, mitigate swelling and spillover of flood waters, and enhance our local farming operations,” Mangudadatu told reporters.

The two dredgers are part of a fleet of 25 heavy equipment units purchased out of the P200-million segment of the P1.9-billion loan granted last year by the Land Bank of the Philippines to the provincial government.