CONTINUING ITS ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY THROUGH THE JOINT WATER AND SOLID WASTE SUMMIT 2019

Tireless on its advocacy on environmental protection and safety, the provincial government of Cavite led by Governor Jonvic Remulla through the Provincial Government – Environment  and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) headed by Ms. Anabelle Cayabyab remains committed in implementing programs  which enhances the public’s awareness and understanding on environmental issues and concerns, concentrating on water and sanitation and solid waste management as PGENRO facilitated the Joint Cavite Water and Solid Waste Summit 2019  carrying the theme ” Towards a Science-Based Governance in Water Resources and Solid Waste Management”  held at De La Salle University-Dasmariñas on November 19-20, 2019.

On the first day, on behalf of Brother Augustine Boquer FSC, EdD, President and Chancellor of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas and De La Salle Health Science Institute, Dr Myrna Ramos, Vice Chancellor of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas Mission and Extension welcomed the partakers and encouraged a participative audience to fully understand the discussion on water sanitation. On the other hand, Former Prime Minister Cesar EA Virata delivered an inspirational message and awaken the spirits of the people, focusing his speech on touching the sensitivity of the locals and challenging everyone to make necessary contributions to maintain the programs being implemented for water resources.

On behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, DENR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Arturo Fadriquela showed a comprehensive presentation on environmental issues including the battle for Manila Bay and its rehabilitation, some accomplishments of the agency including the cleanup  advocacy of water ways and streambanks, hiring of river marshals and cleaners, bantay ilog cleanup program, training on composting and vertical gardening and monitoring of rivers and waterways.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla showered the attendees some enlightening data on water system and the alarming facts on ground water and surface water statistics, emphasizing to everyone the need to act immediately to address the water quality management issues. According to him, comprehensive framework on water sustainability must be establish, zero waste on water or the waste water management action plan must be implemented including water recycling, and no development zone for the upland area until the problem on water sustainability is addressed. In order that the next generation will benefit from it, the governor called the attention of everyone to be vigilant and collaborate to have a sustainable water resources in the community.

As a response to the call for action, pledge of commitment headed by Dr. Emmanuel F. Calairo, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Research of DLSU-D together with other members of the academe was formed and a consortium was made to help the LGU’s in the scientific baseline information for policy development. Other colleges and universities include Cavite State University-Main Campus in Indang, Far Eastern University-Silang, Lyceum of the Philippines-Cavite, Olivarez College Tagaytay, Rogationist College, Technological University of the Philippines, and De La Salle University-Dasmariñas.

Meanwhile, PGENRO Head Annabelle Cayabyab gave a short background on the water and solid waste summit and explained its objectives. She elaborated that Cavite Water Summit was launched on August 20-21, 2015 at CVSU-Indang followed by another leg of discussion held at Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City on November 9-10, 2017. During the previous summit, numerous topics were tackled and exchange of scientific discussion on water demand management was established. Some possible solutions on water resources problem were realized during the event including the establishment of land management practices to intensify the connectivity’s of land and water resources and identify challenges and opportunities in improving water efficiency under the prevailing socio-economic, environmental, and political condition in the Province of Cavite; strengthening the networks between the key players to build efficient  and effective response to the need for comprehensive watershed management plan that address impaired and threatened waters; identify the causes of impairment and pollutant sources that need to be controlled to achieve needed load reductions in the major rivers of Cavite, hence, provide management measures; stream bank conservation and rehabilitation along the six major river watersheds;  strengthening of the ICM Provincial and Municipal Councils, introducing of  rainwater harvesting technologies; identifying pollution sources to achieve needed load reductions and provide the necessary management measures to address them; encouraging multi-stakeholder participation in addressing concerns on water demand management and assist in formulating a feasible action plan to achieve water security. Joint Cavite Water and Solid Waste Summit 2019 on the other hand aims to promote scientific discussions on joint water and solid waste management, focusing on waste segregation at source, composting and recycling as well as some issues to create a comprehensive approach and sustainable water resources and solid waste management programs for the Province of Cavite.

Topics conversed on the first day of the summit include, Green Practices of DLSU-D explained by Ms. Jocelyn Luyon, Environmental Resources and Management Center, DLSU-D; The State of Sanitation in the Philippines: What’s Next?  elaborated by Engr. Jose Serafin Yu Tecson, President, Partnerships for Water Solutions, Inc Philippines; Surface Water Measurements and Water Demand in the Province of Cavite tackled by Prof. Noel Sedigo, CVSU ; Socio-Economic and water Resources Status in Upland cavite: A Basic for Sustainable Use and Management explained by Dr. Alice Valerio, faculty of the Allied Business Department, CBAA, DLSU-D; Comprehensive water Quality Assessment of the River Networks of Dasmarinas City expounded by Mr. Gideon Legaspi, faculty of the Biological ASciences Department, CSCS, DLSU-D; and implementation of Integrated River Basin management Approach in Cavite Province conversed by Ms. Nancy Bermas, Chief technical Adviser and Project Manager, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).

Open forum was facilitated during the summit and questions were answered by the panelists.

On the second day, topics on solid waste management were communicated to the partakers including Status of Compliance of barangays and LGU’s on the Manila bay Rehabilitation Program by Ms. Kristel Kate Francisco of DILG; Solid Waste Management: Issues and Challenges in the Province of Cavite (Barangay and Municipal Level) by Ms. Corazon Gasapos, Supervising EMS and Chief, Solid Waste Management Section DENR-EMB-4A; Plastics in Manila Bay: Its Risks and Implications by Mr. Daniel John Espina Purganan of the UP-Manila Science Institute,Diliman and Ambient Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis for Imus-Ylang-Ylang Rio Grande Rivers (IYRR) and Cañas-Maalimango Rivers (CMR) Water Quality Management Areas by Engr. Wifredo Billones, DENR-EMB-IVA.

Group Workshops per municipality was done and presentation of the proposed strategic action plan per district was initiated during the session.

The event was made successful as the attendees during the summit which include Mendez Mayor Fredderick Vida, Ternate Mayor Lamberto Bambao, 8th District Board Member Virgilio Varias, 6th District Board Member Khervy Salazar , and 5th District Board Member Ivee Jayne Reyes have shown their support to implement programs related to water resources and solid management . Other participants include CENRO/MENRO of their own city/municipality, representatives from the academe, private stakeholders, local and provincial employees, and other concerned agencies .