By PAUL JOHN F. BARROSA
NAGA CITY — Government officials here are serious about saving the highly-polluted Naga River and they are calling on the public to join them.
Naga Mayor John G. Bongat last Nov. 3 launched the city’s strategies to revitalize the river, site of the annual Peñafrancia fluvial procession.
Dubbed “Salog kan Buhay: A Contest for the Best Conceptual Design for Revitalizing Naga River,” the project aims to encourage the public in conceptualizing a so-called “riverwalk” in the riverbanks along the Naga River.
Based on the guidelines provided, the “riverwalk” will revolve around the theme “Salog Naga: Salog Kan Buhay,” reflecting Naga’s heritage as one of the royal cities established by the Spanish colonizers. Pedestrian bridges, biking lanes, observation areas and other features will be encouraged to be conceptualized and proposed, which the city government will subsequently implement.
The riverwalk will have a width of no less than three meters from the river bank and will have a length of around 1.5 kilometers covering the downstream portion of Naga River from the landing site near the Basilica Minore in Balatas to the river’s mouth in Barangays Tabuco and Sabang.
All interested individuals, groups or organizations residing or operating anywhere in the Bicol region can join the contest, which runs until Dec. 5, 2010.
Proposals of interested participants should be in a form of a scrapbook containing the write-ups in an 8.5” x 13” bond paper and their drawings in a 14.5” x 22.5” cartolina. A CD containing the Powerpoint format of their proposals should also be submitted.
Winners will be determined according to the aesthetic impact (50 percent), implementability and practicability (30 percent) and historical relevance (20 percent).
The first placer will receive P 50,000 cash and a certificate, while the second and third placers will receive P 30,000 and P 20,000 and a corresponding certificate, respectively. The awarding ceremony is scheduled on Dec. 15, 2010.
Entries should be submitted to the NRRP Project Secretariat, CPDO, 2/F City Hall, J. Miranda Avenue, Naga City or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This project is more ambitious and more grandiose. This is not just about cleanliness. This will economically empower the people near the river, will promote environment protection, will manage and maintain properly the quality of water in the Naga River, and will revitalize the historical heritage of the river,” Bongat said.