by Johny S. Natad
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año have valued and expressed full support as they witnessed the historic signing of Convergence for Sustainable Watershed (CSW) Statement of Commitment for the protection and preservation of natural resources on August 20, 2019 at Cantilan, Surigao del Sur with CARCANMADCARLAN municipal executives.
In his statement, DENR Secretary Cimatu had stressed the need to sustain clean rivers from coliform bacteria and garbage waste as possible. He expressed appreciation to Cantilan government for successfully cleaning the Cantilan River. “We should duplicate the successful accomplishment and actions done by Mayor Pichay in keeping the river clean”, Secretary Cimatu said.
The DENR Secretary also called the attention of the local officials in their respective municipality to take action of the informal settlers that are teeming along the 3-meter easement from the river. “As possible, there should be no structures allowed along the bank to save and protect the river from possible contamination of domestic wastes thrown by the informal settle”, Secretary Cimatu said.
Secretary Año said the commitment made by the mayors in the preservation and protection of watershed is laudable. Secretary Año also challenged all local officials to consider the efforts of the mayors in Surigao del Sur who bound themselves to sustain clean rivers in their area. “The DILG and the entire agencies under it, affirms its support to the Statement of Commitment towards the Sustainable Management and Use of the watersheds and water resources in their municipalities'”, Secretary Año declared.
The mayors of the towns of Carrascal represented by Vicente H. Pimentel, Cantilan by Mayor Carla Lopez-Pichay, Madrid by Mary Grace Sulatra–Kimura, Carmen by Jane Valeroso–Plaza and Lanuza by Anilao P. Dawog have inked their commitment on a two-page statement that seeks to undertake nine (9) courses of actions on four core river basins and waterfalls in their respective domain.
The nine courses of actions which the mayors in Surigao del Sur have committed to take action included 1.) The consolidation of four core river basins and waterfalls covered by PD 1747 as one “physiologic unit”; 2.) Develop a more effective local policy framework and institutional mechanism for managing watersheds and water resources sustainability; 3.) Enact and enforce policies and ordinance to protect, defend and conserve our watershed; 4.) Mobilize and generate adequate resources by utilizing the increased share of LGUs from the national taxes; 5.) Seek support from the DENR to designate the four core river basins as one single Water Quality Management Area (WAQMA); 6.) Ensure the creation of people-oriented, multi-disciplinary, and ecosystems approach to watershed governance and management; 7.) Work towards the declaration of all critical watershed areas (source of irrigation, domestic water, mini-hydroelectric power, ecotourism, agriculture and those classified as geo-hazard areas) as NO GO ZONES; 8.) Seek support from the DILG to ensure the commitment of all local government units towards the designation, creation and operationalization of the WAQMA; and 9.) Institutionalize the allocation of special appropriation by the local government units for the full operation and management of the WAQMA as common development agenda for the five involved municipalities. (JSN with reports from RPAO/DENR-13)