Support to the 3rd International River Summit


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”.

  1. 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:

  1. Forge partnerships among stakeholders in the planning and implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management;
    1. Create a “Center of Excellence” on Integrated Water Resource Management;
    1. Formulate guidelines on Integrated Water Resource Management;
    1. Develop “Watershed Monitoring Platforms” to boost public appreciation and participation;
    1. Undertake studies to assess the impact of agricultural practices on the river basins;
    1. Use different modalities of “Payment for Environmental Services” to generate funding for the rehabilitation and protection of watershed forest areas;
    1. Explore pioneering fields on PES or rewards for ecosystems services which also resonates to indigenous community watershed management efforts and biodiversity conservation initiatives;
    1. Establish flood forecasting and warning system in every major river basin in the country for preventive measures and reduce disastrous effects of flooding;
    1. Collaborate among multi-sectors in particular urban sector and private sector, LGUs and government agencies for effective flood management;
    1. Develop or enhance software measures(internet/mobile phone) for easy access of information of the public during flooding; and
    1. 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.

PWP’s participation

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 SessionAtty. 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 – ChallengesH. 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 AnswerFacilitator  
Service Beyond Water – Maynilad as a Partner in Nation-BuildingMs. 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 PartnershipMr. Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr. Head, Corporate Strategic Affairs Manila Water Company, Inc.  
Convergence:  Key in the Rehabilitation and Development of the Pasig River SystemExecutive Director Ramil R. Tan Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC)
GWP-SEA Chairman, Mr. Watt Botkosal with PWP Chairman, Atty. Nathaniel C. Santos and Mr. Christopher Ilagan, PWP Chair-Elect

2018-1st Quarter Activity Report


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

Implementation Method: 

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:

Kick-off ceremony

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.

Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, SCPW Executive Director giving the Welcome Remarks.

“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.

Photo Documentation:

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.

 Photo Documentation:

PWP Trustee and Consultant
Dr. Sevillo D David, Jr., NWRB Executive Director and PWP Vice Chairmanand representatives from Maynilad and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC).

Philippine Water Partnership (PWP) was actively involved in the following events in celebration of the 2019 World Water Day

Kick-off activity

This activity was held in Brgy. Baseco, Tondo, Manila on March 15, 2019

Highlights of the program were the following:

  • Sungka Tournament
  • Lectures on:
    • Water and Wastewater – Maynilad Water
    • Community Awareness on Environmental Laws and Initiatives –        Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)
    • Waste to Livelihood – Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC)
    • Solid Waste Management – Environmental Management Bureau – National Capital Region (EMB-NCR)
    • Women and Children –  National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)
    • Container Gardening / Green Entrepreneurship – Maynilad Water


Buhay KYUT (Kalusugan, Yamang Ugnay sa Tubig) is an Education Water Campaign Program of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) on water conservation, health, and hygiene. The program aims to achieve a clean and healthy lifestyle for all members of the family particularly the women and children.

In celebration of this year’s World Water Day, PWP and Maynilad Water’s Daloy Dunong Water Information collaborated with LWUA on the conduct of the Buhay Kyut program in Guiteb Elementary School in Ramos, Tarlac on March 18, 2019.   This activity was also organized in coordination with Ramos Water District.

Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Philippine Water Sector:  Gaps and Opportunities

In line with the observance of the World Water Day, a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on the Philippine Water Sector:  Gaps and Opportunities was held on 20 March 2019 at the Joy Nostalg Hotel in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines. The event, which was a multi-stakeholder dialogue was jointly organized by the Department of International Trade of the British Embassy Manila in partnership with the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc., (SCPW) and the Philippine Water Partnership (PWP).

The intention was to enhance relationship among key Philippine oversight agencies on water, private sector, civil society organization, the academe, development partners and water end-users by sharing information of what is being currently undertaken at the same time identify areas of opportunities and potential collaboration. Specifically, the RTD was aimed to:

  • Promote and enhance relationships among key Philippine oversight agencies on water, private sector, civil society organizations, academe, development partners and water-end users
  • Share best practices on water use and conservation
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in the water sector in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 6.

Ms.  Amy Lecciones, Executive Director of SCPW and PWP Trustee   gave the Welcome Remarks while Mr. Richard Coley, Director for Trade and Investment,  British Embassy,  Manila gave the Opening Remarks.  Also featured during the event were the following topics:

  • Water Resources in the Philippines:  Status, Challenges and Opportunities by Engr. Susan P.  Abano of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB)
  • Providing Universal Access to Water and Sanitation in the Countryside by Danilo T. Basilio of the Local Water Utilities Administration
  • UK Capability on Water: World-leading Solutions to Water Challenges by Mr. Adrian Marsden , Infrastructure Leader, RUP

The presentation was followed by an interactions and discussion of the topics presented which was facilitated by Mr. Ramon B. Alikpala, former Chairman of PWP and former Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chairman.

The discussion resulted in the preparation of a  Draft Statement on the Current Water Crisis in Manila which called for the following immediate actions:

  1. Fast-track the construction and development of new water sources for Metro Manila. To this end, we urge the government to declare the Kaliwa Dam project and other similar projects in the immediate pipeline as projects of national significance and to fast-track their bureaucratic approvals by obtaining permits in parallel rather than sequential order. Full implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act would be very useful in this regard.  We also call upon Manila Water to hasten  completion of its Cardona Treatment Plant and its Wawa Dam Project.  As a long-term solution, steps must already be made to develop Laiban Dam, including construction of conveyance systems at the Kaliwa site, which can accommodate Laiban’s increased flows.


  1. Hold MWSS and Manila Water accountable. MWSS and Manila Water should be made accountable for the current water supply crisis in Metro Manila in accordance with law and contract. Any penalization of accountable parties, however, must abide by due process as governed by applicable laws and contracts. To this end, where the concerned concessionaire may be held accountable,        we strongly urge that this be done within the context of what its Concession Agreement provides so as to show the State’s continued commitment toward respecting the sanctity of contracts and its continued belief that public-private partnerships remain a key strategy in the country’s infrastructure development program. In relation to this, we call on the Senate to urgently approve House Bill No. 5828 or the Public Service Act Amendments Bill in this 17th Congress, which proposes to increase the penalties on public services violating or failing to comply with its terms and conditions in order to make them more accountable.


  1. Water conservation efforts. This includes the promotion and adoption of technologies and practices for more efficient water use (e. g. efficient water-consuming appliances, water reuse systems, substitute chemical-based cleaning technologies, and reduced waste of water by agricultural, commercial, domestic, and industrial consumers). In addition, concessionaires may continue reducing non-revenue water losses and introduce demand-management policies, such as mandatory labeling requirements for water-consuming appliances and proper pricing of water to reflect its true scarcity value.


  1. Develop a Water Security Masterplan for Metro Manila and the entire country based on sound science. With the various water requirements of the country across a variety of needs, it is necessary to approach water resource planning through the lens of the globally-recognized principle of Integrated Water Resource Management. In order to achieve this, governance over the water sector should be rethought. In the short term, via an Executive Order, the NWRB may be strengthened and given adequate resources. In the longer term, legislation should be passed (a) establishing an apex body for the water sector to act as the single lead agency to oversee and coordinate overall policy and program implementation, (b) creating an independent regulator for water supply and sanitation to harmonize regulatory practices and standards, and (3) encouraging private sector participation in the management of water resources and the provision of water services. To shepherd these reforms, we urge the President to appoint a “Water Czar” who can focus on this task of bringing order to the currently directionless water sector.


  1. Rehabilitating the country’s water bodies and its supporting ecosystems. Besides continuing the effort to clean up Manila Bay, this rehabilitation effort should be expanded to include other major water bodies that can serve as natural sources of water supply, storage, and power, such as Laguna Lake and the Agus and Pulangi rivers. Efforts must also be made to ensure watersheds are revitalized and maintained, while putting an end to illegal land conversion around these watersheds, which severely reduces holding capacities of these vital water-capturing systems.


National Water Summit

The Summit was held on 21 March 2019 at Novotel Manila in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

Cluster A –  Governance, Resilience and Environment Sectors presented by Mr. Christopher Matthew A. Ilagan, Chairman of Philippine Water Partnership

Strategies for Addressing the Supply-Demand Issue


Cluster B –  Domestic and Urban Sectors presented by Mr. Ramon B. Alikpala, former Chairman of PWP and MWSS

Philippine Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan (PWSSMP) 8 Key Reform Areas (KRA)

 Cluster C –  Agriculture and Economics Sectors presented by Dr. William D. Dar

Major Recommendations:

  • Creation of a Department of Water including a Water Regulatory Commission
  • Rainwater harvesting and accelerated development of irrigation system
    • Introduction of new but relevant technologies from other countries and increase level of investment for R & D support including skills development
    • Incentivize private sector investment in agricultural infrastructure development
  • Rehabilitation of 18 major river basins including watershed areas of existing NIA managed irrigation system

RBCO and the Philippine Water Partnership collaborates, conduct the Learning Event on Applying Climate Lens/Ecosystem-base Adaptation (EbA) Approach in River Basin Plan Development and Management

The River Basin Coordinating Office (RBCO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with the Philippine Water Partnership (PWP) conducted training on the application of climate lens/ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approach in river basin plan management and development.  The said activity was conducted under PWP’s WACDEP initiative. 

The training was intended to provide an opportunity for RBCO and other concerned DENR staff (RBCO Regional Focal Persons) to have updated and working knowledge as well as build their capacity on climate change adaptation guided by the EbA Mainstreaming Cycle. The 2-day training included topics such as:  overview on climate change, policies, climate projections, Ecosystem-based Adaptation framework, concepts, terminologies, methodological approaches, EbA qualities and criteria of successful ecosystem-based adaptations as well as the introduction of tools and instruments useful for actual implementation. It also included an overview of ecosystem-based options along the aspects of planning, policy and project designs.

Winners in the 2008 “Water for Life” Photo Contest

2009 Water is Life Photo Contest
Theme:  Causes & Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources

First Prize: “Basketball at the Swamp” by Mr. Hoselito G. Arceta
2nd Prize - “Water World” by Mr. Ernie Lacsamana Peñaredondo, Jr.
3rd Prize - “Safe Drinking Water?” by Mr. Karlo Emmanuel M. Victoriano
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