DILG Regional News
Disaster forum kick-off convergence for Agusan River Basin ManagementSeptember 11, 2012
Butuan City - Local Government Units (LGUs), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (DRRMOs), Regional Line Agencies (RLAs), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) of Regions 11 and 13 converged here recently for the Regional Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) for the Agusan River Basin Management.
The forum was initiated by the DILG and Local Government Academy (LGA) in partnership with the Agencie Espaola de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda. Its main objective was to harness alliance building and initiate convergence towards a harmonized effort in the development, administration and proper management of the Agusan River Basin. The collaborative approach is aimed at building disaster-resilient local communities and governments.
DILG Region 13 Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said that the forum was an offshoot and one of the series of activities of the TAPATAN on disaster preparedness – initiated by the late Secretary Robredo in order to prepare communities in disasters. “Let us make sure that all of the efforts of our late Secretary will not be in vain and we will continue this advocacy to achieve our vision of building disaster resilient communities and local governments,” she said.
Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. said that it is very timely and appropriate for Butuan City to hold the collaborative workshop because the city is always at risk for flooding every year. “Thus, there is a need for collaboration with the LGUs along the river basin and I am hopeful that all of us here who are present will achieve convergence to unify our plans,” he remarked.
Senator Loren Legarda sent her senatorial staff to document the outputs of the convergence for this will be valuable in her proposed Philippine River Basin System Administration Act of 2012. Senator Legarda was not able to grace the activity and was instead represented by her Chief of Staff Emmanuel de Guzman.
A common action agenda among the participants was initiated during the collaboration workshop by signing the pledge of commitment as a start of the convergence efforts in planning for the administration and management of the Agusan River. Such agenda shall pave the way for harmonized actions to mitigate and prepare for climate change and disasters. The workshop attempts to draw a draft on the Agusan River Basin’s management mechanism, governance structure, financing scheme and performance monitoring/evaluation. It was later agreed upon that the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will be tasked to organize different stakeholders for the creation of Agusan River Basin Office.
University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB) Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor Cruz said LGUs must adopt a River Basin-Based Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and strive to synchronize their development agenda with other LGUs.
“You (LGUs) must enforce environmental protection, environmental monitoring systems for floods and other hazards and proper solid waste management. You must likewise lead multi-stakeholder planning and management,” he added.
- Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa