The Panlibatuhan Creek in Valencia City, Bukidnon emerged as the national champion of the recently concluded 2021 Search for Recognizing Individuals/Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERs) for Life Award of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Valencia City Felicisimo C. Escuadro Jr. received the award during the 35th Anniversary celebration of DENR. The second prize was awarded to Apayao-Abulog River in Cordillera Administration Region while Taguibo River in Region 13 won the third place.

RIVERs for Life Awards aims to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve the country’s rivers. And to tap concerted action to protect the country’s rivers from degradation, pollution, and assure their suitability, sustainability, and further improvement for their designation use or classification.

The CENRO of Valencia City spearheaded and coordinated with LGU Valencia City which created Panlibatuhan Creek Rehabilitation and Management Council (PCRMC). The PCRMC is composed of various partners from the Local Government Unit of Valencia, national line agencies, private sectors, and Indigenous People chaired by the City Government of Valencia, Bukidnon.

The criteria for judging include Water Quality Improvement and Aesthetics, Solid Waste Management, Program Sustainability and Information Education and Communication Campaign (IEC) and other activities interventions and innovations.

It is noteworthy to know that Panlibatuhan Creek was one of the first settlement areas of the tribes in Valencia City after it was separated as part of Malaybalay City. It was named as Panlibatuhan because the area was thickly forested by tree species called “Malibato trees”. Activities undertaken by the CENRO Valencia and the PCRMC whereas regular community clean-ups, and proper solid waste management, the City Government Unit of Valencia was able to clean and improve the water quality of the river before and after making it as the official entry of Region 10 Search for the RIVERs Life Awards.

The RIVERs for Life Awards was launched to recognize the efforts of supervising and implementing Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) to achieve the cleanest state of the rivers in their respective areas of jurisdiction (Rizza Bebs B. Alpas). RSCIG # 06-165-2022 #TayoAngKalikasan