By Gio J. Tanudtanud
APO AGUA and the Davao City Water District vowed to prioritize programs and efforts to protect the Panigan-Tamugan River as it acts as a major source of drinking water for Davaoeños.
During a press conference at City Hall on Jan. 11, Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod, DCWD spokesperson, said they partnered with the Obu-Manuvu tribe in rehabilitating around 230 hectares of land upstream since 2005.
Among the efforts included a massive tree-planting activity, livelihood, and scholarship programs as they empowered the local tribal communities to become stakeholders. As a result, they would be motivated to sustain the preservation and rehabilitation program for the watershed.
DCWD launched the “Adopt-a-Site” project in Mt. Tipolog-Tamugan Watershed after signing an agreement with the Obu-Manuvu tribe on Sept. 13, 2017.
For its part, Apo Agua also rehabilitated 50 hectares surrounding the Panigan River.
May Che Capili, external relations officer of Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc., said Apo Agua has a separate area on the Panigan side. The company partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Fardeco Multipurpose Cooperative, as part of their commitment to maintaining the river’s water quality.
She said also they planted and replanted around 200 hectares in addition to continuing activities of 33,000 fruit and endemic trees in the upstream Panigan-Tamugan Watershed, particularly in Barangay Cadalian.
Apo Agua is working with other stakeholders Bantay Bukid and Watershed Management Council on planning what other things to do with the river bank rehabilitation, which they are moving forward to in 2024.
“Ang call gyud nato is to really protect the Panigan-Tamugan watershed which is the source of our drinking water and not just for us but especially to the public and our users in the river,” Capili said.
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