‘ILIG BATIANO’ hopes to save river from deterioration

In an inspiring display of collective concern for environmental preservation, a new movement has emerged on the shores of Iloilo, spearheaded by the Iloilo Local Initiators Group for Batiano (ILIG BATIANO). The group, composed of diverse stakeholders, officially marked its formation with a Photo Exhibition of Batiano River at Cafe Gloria in Villa Beach on Saturday, March 2, signaling a resolute commitment to the restoration of the deteriorating Batiano River.

Notable figures from environmental organizations such as Green Forum, Coca-Cola Foundation, Metro Pacific Water, and the Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) were present at the event, along with active participants from the local community. The launch served as a platform to raise awareness about the current state of the Batiano River and to garner support for the upcoming initiatives aimed at reviving this vital waterway.

The Batiano River, extending approximately 17.5 kilometers from Oton, Iloilo, winds its way through the picturesque shorelines of Villa Arevalo and the bustling urban district of Molo in Iloilo City before emptying into the Iloilo Strait, with the majestic Island of Guimaras in its gaze. Along its banks, 20 barangays house a population of 96,519 people, with communities formed by households and commercial areas interconnected by various bridges such as the Batiano Bridge in Poblacion, the Sevirino Haro Bridge in Oton, and the bridges in Villa Arevalo – Mohon, Sta. Cruz, and Sto. Niño – continuing on to Calumpang and Boulevard in Molo.

batiano river photo exhibit

The historical significance of Batiano River is woven into the fabric of the region, pointing to the existence of earlier settlers and communities in Oton and beyond. It is home to a thriving ecosystem, featuring a diverse array of flora and fauna, including various bird species and mangroves. The river’s aquaculture function has long served as a crucial source of food and livelihood for the communities lining its scenic banks.

Regrettably, over the years, the ecosystem of the Batiano River has faced a steady decline due to a myriad of issues, primarily stemming from waste and pollution. Agricultural runoffs, discharges from industrial and commercial establishments, waste from backyard piggeries and lechon enterprises, and domestic waste from growing residential areas have collectively taken a toll on the once vibrant river.

ilig batiano movement

ILIG Batiano emerges as a community-driven, multi-sectoral civil society organization, dedicated to breathing life back into the Batiano River and restoring it to its original function. With a holistic approach, the group aims to tackle the root causes of pollution, engaging in activities that range from community clean-ups and educational campaigns to advocating for stricter environmental regulations.

As ILIG Batiano takes its first steps toward revitalizing the Batiano River, it beckons the wider community to join hands in this noble endeavor. The launch event at Cafe Gloria is just the beginning, as the movement seeks to inspire collective action, emphasizing that the rehabilitation of the Batiano River lies in the hands of those who call its shores home. In the face of environmental challenges, ILIG BATIANO stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the power of unity and concerted effort in the pursuit of a sustainable and thriving future for our rivers and communities.

About Nonoy Taclino

Nonoy Taclino is a pioneer blogger and social media manager in Iloilo, with 15 years of experience under his belt.

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