Water unites Davao City’s opposing sectors

June 28th, 2017 by

It’s rare to see environmental groups working with private, for-profit sectors especially on the issue of sustainable management of natural resources.

But for water, especially in a city which houses eight watersheds and prides itself to have one of the world’s highest quality potable water, all sectors have a stake and therefore invited to the annual Davao City watershed summit.

Now on its fifth year, the watershed summit aims to provide a venue for stakeholders from ridge to reef to talk things over and come up with solutions to prevailing issues on water, something of common value that unites citizens from the uplands to the urban centers.

This year’s summit will have resource persons to update, recommend and respond to stakeholders on important concerns such as monitoring of ground and surface water quality and the bulk water supply project.

The Watershed Management Council, the lead government body mandated to protect the city’s watersheds will also present their strategic action plan for 2017-2019. Volunteer forest guards and indigenous community partners will also share their best practices, being the frontliners in watershed protection.

IDIS Acting Director Chinkie Peliño-Golle, speaking in behalf of the summit organizers, expressed excitement with the presence of Mayor Sara Duterte who has committed to give her keynote message for the event.

“We hope that she will listen to the issues, concerns and recommendations raised and make appropriate actions especially in appropriating more funds for the watershed rehabilitation programs, particularly providing assistance to our community watershed volunteers.”

Peliño-Golle’s group, an active member of the Watershed Management Council, has been working with communities in the upland watersheds, as is the common approach used by conservation groups. But the watershed summit, this year in particular, she explained, “emphasizes the value of continued partnerships with water consumers downtown.”

“It is important that we collectively discuss issues since we are all affected from the ridge among our upland communities who guard our water sources down to the ridge of the Davao river, among our coastal communities,” she added.

The fifth watershed summit is co-organized by the City Government’s Watershed Management Council, DENR Region XI, Interface Development Interventions, Philippine Eagle Foundation, and Davao City Water District.

Funds poured in from private sectors including Apo Agua Infrastructura, Davao Light & Power Co., Davao Medical Society to make the two-day summit possible. LafargeHolcim has also offered to host the learning visit of the participants on the second day of the event. #