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Reg'l water summit highlights collaboration as key to improving water security




CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The recently concluded Northern Mindanao Integrated Water Summit spotlighted the need for collaboration to improve water security in the region.

The summit was spearheaded by the Regional Development Council (RDC)-10 Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (InfraCom) through the Oro Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.-Northern Mindanao, May 25–26, 2023.

"This event is one of the avenues to closely coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders in averting water crises, effective management of water resources, and ensuring that planned water infrastructures are resilient to extreme events," said Asec. Arleigh Adorable, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary for Field Operations-Mindanao.

Misamis Oriental Governor Peter Unabia, who also chairs the RDC-10 InfraCom, explained there are many obstacles to achieving clean water and sanitation, or the so-called Sustainable Development Goal 6. These impediments include climate change, population growth, water scarcity, unequal distribution, a lack of political will, and insufficient funds, among others.

But these challenges, according to him, can be faced and addressed through cooperation and working together.

"Importante nga masabtan sa tanan nga ang pagsulbad sa mga isyu nga may kalabutan sa tubig nanginahanglan og kooperasyon, dili lamang sa gobyerno kun dili sa lokal nga komunidad ug sa tanang sektor sa katilingban," he said.

(Everyone needs to understand that solving water-related issues requires cooperation, not only with the government but also with the local community and all sectors of society)

Unabia said the regional water security summit provides opportunities for the government and private sector to cooperate, collaborate, and connect to solve water challenges in the region.

The RDC-10 also believes that a whole-of-society approach is needed to address these issues.

RDC-10 chairperson and Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo stated this as the reason why the Council passed Resolution No. 19, enjoining national and regional line agencies, local government units, and other concerned stakeholders to support the summit.

"The Council particularly underscored the importance of concerted efforts in building institutional capacities for addressing issues and achieving water security," she said.

Dimaporo also stressed the immediate formulation of the provincial and city Integrated Water Security Plan.

Meanwhile, the RDC-10 chair gave assurance of the council's commitment to championing relevant policies and initiatives that will contribute to the attainment of water security in the country and the region in particular.

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