Legislators from the House of Representatives have vowed to push for the approval of the resolutions for Region 10’s water security passed during the recent Northern Mindanao Integrated Water Security Summit held at the Seven Seas Waterpark & Resort in Opol, Misamis Oriental.

Among these are the regionalization of the functions of the  National Water Resources Board (NWRB); additional funding to support water resource security initiatives; revisiting the Executive Order operationalizing the Mandanas-Garcia ruling on irrigation services; supporting House Bill No. 07559 filed during the 19th Congress by Cagayan de Oro 1st District Representative Lordan G. Suan seeking to strengthen water cooperatives; and a moratorium on the conversion of protected areas for agriculture and development.

 “In behalf of the Region 10 legislators…You can be assured that your congressmen from Northern Mindanao will be more than willing to legislate to help you what is needed for the output of this summit,” stressed Rep. Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano, representing the 2nd District of Misamis Oriental.

Over 400 stakeholders from various government agencies, NGOs, business chambers, water districts and local governments joined the summit held May 25-26, 2023 to address water security issues in Northern Mindanao.

The House of Representatives was well represented by Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo (Camiguin), Rep. Yevgeny Vincente Emano (2nd District, Misamis Oriental),Rep. Jose Manuel Alba (1st District, Bukidnon) and Rep. Lordan Suan (1st District, Cagayan de Oro) who all actively participated in the discussions.

Promote Normin Foundation President Engr. Elpie Paras presents the resolutions approved during the Northern Mindanao Integrated Water Security Summit.

Other resolutions which were presented to the summit participants for approval by Promote Normin Foundation Elpidio M. Paras included requesting the DENR to strengthen the newly created Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) to deal with the country’s water crisis; formulating the Integrated Water Security Plans in Provinces and Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs); creation of the provincial and city Integrated Water Security Councils; and institutionalizing the inclusion of programs and projects for water security initiatives of the private sector through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects.

RDC-X Vice Chair and NEDA Region 10 Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño said the final titles may be different from the ones in the summit resolutions since these still have to be processed for the approval and endorsement by the RDC-10 Infrastructure & Utilities Committee (InfraCom) chaired by Misamis Oriental Governor Peter M. Unabia when it meets on June 13, for the final approval of the RDC-10 Full Council on June 21.

Earlier, RDC-10  InfraCom Vice Chair Ruben A. Vegafria urged during his opening remarks for the passage of bills to establish the formulation of the Provincial Water Security Plan for each of the Provincial Development Councils of the five provinces of Northern Mindanao as a special body; and a Regional Water Supply Sub-Committee under the auspices of the InfraCom. He likewise  urged for the decentralization of the NWRB through the creation of regional offices, as well as the  strengthening of water cooperatives all over the country.

“I am happy to see the presence of our distinguished legislators here today,” Vegafria, concurrently the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor for Northern Mindanao noted. “I am confident that the output of the conference workshop will pave the way in securing the region’s water future. We lodge our hope in the caring arms of our honorable congressmen by filing the pertinent bills in Congress.”

The Oro Chamber of Commerce chaired the Technical Working Group for the summit with the Region X offices of the National Economic Development Authority, Department of Science and Technology, Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Board of Investments/Dept of Trade and Industry, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Aside from the Oro Chamber and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Region 10 (PCCI-10), the private sector was also significantly represented by the Promote NorMin Foundation, USAID, Development Bank of the Philippines, and Landbank of the Philippines.

Aligned with Sustainable Development Goal No. 6, the summit centers around the theme “Securing the Region’s Water Future”. It aimed to primarily identify water security issues, develop effective interventions, establish partnerships, and establish Provincial Integrated Water Security Committees in each province of Northern Mindanao.


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