The International River Summit (IRS) is a biennial multi-partner national initiative spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the host City. It serves as a venue for leading experts, scientists, policy makers, river administrators, indigenous communities, support groups, people’s organizations and practitioners to identify opportunities, problems and best practices towards effectively managing rivers.
The IRS traces its first initiative in Iloilo City when local officials led by Mayor Jed Mabilog and Senator Franklin Drilon organized the summit last May 30-June 01, 2012, with the support of the DENR. With the theme “My River, My Life”, it convened at least 1,500 both foreign and national delegates, the biggest delegation of river stakeholders. At the end of the summit, participants manifested their commitment through a document dubbed as the “Iloilo Declaration”, which calls for bigger investment on river systems that have already been degraded by climate change and rapid urbanization.
The 2nd International River Summit was hosted by Marikina City last 19-21 November 2014 with the theme “Reviving Rivers, Rebuilding Civilization”. The summit featured paper presentations, fora, exhibits, and learning tours. Like the Iloilo IRS, the 2nd IRS came out with a “Marikina Declaration”.
- Highlights of the 3rd International River Summit
The 3rd International River Summit was held on 24-26 November 2016 at the Pryce Hotel with the theme “Healthy Watersheds – Clean Rivers – Safer Communities”. It consisted of plenary discussions and thematic breakout sessions on specific river management issues. Plenary sessions were held in the morning, while Thematic Breakout sessions were conducted in the afternoon. There were also learning tours organized for interested participants. A parallel exhibit showcasing efforts and best practices, as well as bazaars were put up.
The Summit has produced the Cagayan de Oro Accord which contains the values, principles as well as recommendations and action points which were summarized as follows:
- Forge partnerships among stakeholders in the planning and implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management;
- Create a “Center of Excellence” on Integrated Water Resource Management;
- Formulate guidelines on Integrated Water Resource Management;
- Develop “Watershed Monitoring Platforms” to boost public appreciation and participation;
- Undertake studies to assess the impact of agricultural practices on the river basins;
- Use different modalities of “Payment for Environmental Services” to generate funding for the rehabilitation and protection of watershed forest areas;
- Explore pioneering fields on PES or rewards for ecosystems services which also resonates to indigenous community watershed management efforts and biodiversity conservation initiatives;
- Establish flood forecasting and warning system in every major river basin in the country for preventive measures and reduce disastrous effects of flooding;
- Collaborate among multi-sectors in particular urban sector and private sector, LGUs and government agencies for effective flood management;
- Develop or enhance software measures(internet/mobile phone) for easy access of information of the public during flooding; and
- Conduct studies on flood risk assessment especially in flood prone areas.
Around 800 delegates from Government Agencies, Academe, Local Government Units (LGUs), Business/Private Sector, International Partners, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Professional Organizations participated in the Summit.
Undersecretary Demetrio L. Ignacio, Jr. represented Secretary Regina L. Lopez, as the Guest of Honor, during the Summit’s Closing Ceremonies. Likewise, Mandaue City was named the host for the 2018 IRS.
What makes the 3rd IRS different from the other two (2) IRS is that the local organizing committee for the IRS is composed of NGOs, POs, government organizations and the host local government unit (Cagayan de Oro City LGU). The Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council (CDORBMC), chaired by Archbishop Ledesma and CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno, led the preparation of the 3rd IRS. The CDORBMC is a multi-sectoral body organized by different stakeholders to coordinate, manage and supervise the collaborative efforts to protect, conserve and rehabilitate the Cagayan de Oro river basin.
The Philippine Water Partnership handled two (2) Thematic Breakout Sessions. It spearheaded Thematic Session 5: “Partnership, Community Empowerment and Governance” and co-managed with the DENR-River Basin Control Office (RBCO) in Thematic Session 1: “Implementing Integrated Water Resource Management: Approaches and Challenges”
Thematic Session 5 was attended by around 150 delegates in one of the ballrooms of the hotel. The speakers were from the Cambodia National Mekong Committee / Global Water Partnership, River Care Programme, Global Environment Centre, Maynilad, Manila Water and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). Moderators for this thematic session were RBCO Deputy Executive Director Donna Gordove and Ms. Yolanda Gomez of PWP.
Speakers for the Thematic Session 1 were from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). The session was attended by around 105 delegates. RBCO Deputy Executive Director Gordove and Engr. Rodora Gamboa of PWP chaired and co-chaired the event, respectively.
3rd International River Summit
Break-out / Thematic Session on:
“Partnership, Community Empowerment and Governance”
November 25, 2016
|Welcome Remarks and Introduction to the Session||Atty. Nathaniel C. Santos Chairman, Philippine Water Partnership (PWP) and Senior Deputy Administrator, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)|
|Perspectives and Approaches in River Basin Governance in general and with a Case from Mekong River Countries – Challenges||H. E. Watt Botkosal Deputy Secretary-General of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee and Chair, Global Water Partnership-Southeast Asia|
|River Management through Local Community Empowerment – a success story||Dr. Kalithasan Kailasam Coordinator River Care Programme Global Environment Centre|
|Question and Answer||Facilitator|
|Service Beyond Water – Maynilad as a Partner in Nation-Building||Ms. Abigail L. Ho AVP – Head, Advocacy and Marketing Commercial and Marketing Maynilad Water Services, Inc.|
|“Toka Toka” Environmental Advocacy: Bringing Back the Glory of Rivers Through Community Engagement and Partnership||Mr. Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr. Head, Corporate Strategic Affairs Manila Water Company, Inc.|
|Convergence: Key in the Rehabilitation and Development of the Pasig River System||Executive Director Ramil R. Tan Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC)|
Strategic Goal No. 3 – Strengthen Partnership
Outcome Challenge: Partnership strengthening through membership drive, relevant training and media engagement
Title of Activity: CWP Secretariat Running Costs
Provision of funds for the following expenses:
- Salary of Project Coordinator
- Supplies and materials
- Coordination meeting expenses
- Landline & Mobile Telephone service fee
- Wifi /internet connection
- Business permit fees
- Renewal of webhosting and domain
Output of Activity:
– Smooth implementation of planned activities for 2018
2018 World Water Day in the Philippines
The 2018 World Water Day and Water Week 2018 celebration in the Philippines was held from March 15 to 22, 2018 with the theme: “Nature for Water”. It was a nationwide event supported by different partner agencies, local government units, NGOs and the private sector.
PWP actively participated in the following events related to the World Water Day celebration:
PWP participated in the launching of the World Water Day 2018 Kick-off Activity entitled, “Nature Walk” cum “Sining Ipo Sungka Tournament” on March 15, 2018 at La Mesa Nature Reserve, Novaliches, Quezon City. The said activity was led by the DENR-River Basin Control Office (RBCO) in partnership with Manila Water, Maynilad and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as part of the week-long celebration.
The sungka tournament by Maynilad, Nature Treasure Hunt, Pinoy Henyo (Kalikasan Version) and Kilos-kilos Game was held simultaneously with the Nature Walk organized by Manila Water. Besides aiming to foster camaraderie among inter-agency participants, the event emphasized the importance of watershed, the protection and care of the country’s natural resources.
The educational and fun-filled activities were concluded by the awarding ceremonies, photo-opportunities and Pledges of Commitment to the environment by all those who participated.
Launching of the Wetlands Bioblitz Program
On 16 March 2018, the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW), in collaboration with the Philippine Water Partnership (PWP) and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), launched the Wetlands Bioblitz Program at Panguil River Ecotourism Park. The launching event, which is one of the activities lined-up for the celebration of World Water Day 2018, served as a dry-run for the Wetlands BioBlitz activities that will be implemented in other major rivers in Laguna de Bay region. It underscored the relationship between nature and water, the nature-based solutions for water-related issues which is the theme for this year’s World Water Day celebration dubbed as “Nature for Water: Exploring Nature-Based Solutions to the Water Challenges in the 21st century”. It was attended by scientists, LGUs, community volunteers and interested individuals and organizations, including business participated in the whole-day event.
“NWRB, Nangangalaga ng Water Resources ng Bansa, an Educational Campaign”
This activity is an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign organized by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the PWP on March 19, 2018 in Nagcarlan, Laguna for non-registered domestic water-users and resort owners.
The objectives are as follows:
- To educatethe public on the functions of NWRB, Water Code of the Philippines, and IWRM
- To create a list of households which own and use wells and other sources for domestic purposes; and
- To advocate registration of sources for domestic use and application for permit of sources for other uses
A total of 170 interested stakeholders attended the event.
The highlights of the information dissemination were as follows:
- Engr. Susan P. Abaño (Head, Water Resources Assessment Section) – Presentation on NWRB as the Philippines Water Resources Manager
- Engr. Josephine Billones (Policy and Program Division) – briefly explained basic principles of Integrated Water Resources Manager (IWRM)
- Mr. Perseus L. Cruz (Water Rights Division) – presented the Salient Features of Water Code of the Philippines
- Ms. Arlene Diaz (Water Rights Division) – discussed the Water Permit Application Process & Registration for Domestic Water Users.
An open forum followed after the presentations to give the opportunity for participants to raise points and/or clarificatory questions regarding the presentations. The concerned resource persons responded to the points/clarificatory questions raised.
Culminating Activity and Awards
This activity was organized by Maynilad, together with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB). The awards were given to honor eighteen (18) champions for water and the environment — individuals, institutions and programs that made huge strides in achieving water and environmental sustainability in the Philippines. The recognition is the culminating event of the week-long celebration of World Water Day.