Oras River is Eastern Samar’s official entry to Region 8’s Recognizing Individuals and Institutions towards Vibrant and Enhanced Rivers (RIVERs) for Life Award.

Launched by the Eastern Samar Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in cooperation with the local government unit of Oras, the Oras River is set to be rehabilitated and improved in collaboration with other stakeholders consistent with the criteria of the RIVERs for Life Award.

These include institutionalization of solid waste management and clean and green programs resulting to a well-maintained river, institutional support system reflecting strong and sustained partnership and community mobilization to include livelihood programs in the community, municipal ordinances and resolutions in support to the river rehabilitation, community clean-ups, presence of garden and open spaces, and other innovations. The Award also gives weight to information and education campaign activities which may include conduct of regular training and presence of signages along the river.

This undertaking comes after DENR Regional Executive Director Crizaldy Barcelo launched the 2019 RIVERs for Life Award in Eastern Visayas during its Anniversary celebration in June. RED Barcelo instructed all PENROs to select a Class C river in their area of responsibility as entry to the regional search, hoping to raise awareness on the need to protect and conserve the rivers in the region.

RED Barcelo also said that the most rehabilitated and improved river among the entries will become DENR region 8’s official entry to the 2019 National RIVERs for Life Awards.

The local government unit of Oras is grateful that Oras River was chosen as Eastern Samar’s entry to the RIVERs for Life Award. The LGU is optimistic that this program will initiate total rehabilitation and clean-up of the Oras River, the source of food and livelihood for most communities in Oras, Arteche, and Jipapad, Eastern Samar. The river also serves as a highway from the municipal center to 12 barangays in Oras up to the municipality of Jipapad.

Eastern Samar PENR Officer Ricardo Tomol enjoined the communities to help maintain the intact vegetation along the river and improve its vibrancy through collaboration and collective efforts in order to sustain its purpose.

As a show of support to the RIVERs for Life Awards, Oras Mayor Vivian Alvarez has declared every Friday as River Clean-up Day.

The launching of the Oras River as Eastern Samar’s entry held on August 30, 2019 was capped with a clean-up activity in the 12 barangays along Oras River participated by employees of PENRO Eastern Samar, CENRO Dolores, and the municipal office of Oras. Clean-ups were also held in three (3) river barangays of Arteche, and three (3) barangays in Jipapad, Eastern Samar encompassing the headwaters of the Oras River.