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IDIS calls for stricter ban on recreational activities in watersheds

THE INTERFACING Development Intervention for Sustainability (IDIS), Inc. urged Davao City to strictly enforce the ban on recreational activities that might affect critical watershed areas. 

The group cited the Panigan-Tamugan watershed, which has been classified as an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA) under the Davao City Watershed Code and a Critical Watershed Zone (CWZ) based on the Davao City Zoning Ordinance of 2018-2028. 

The classification signifies its vital role in the local ecosystem and its importance as the next source of drinking water for Davao City.

Despite the existing policies on the protection of watersheds, various blogs, and vlogs have emerged on social media platforms promoting prohibited recreational activities in the Panigan-Tamugan rivers.

There is an increase in the collection of 11 sacks of mixed wastes, including PET bottles, plastic containers, diapers, sachets, and used clothing, compared to the brand audits in Panigan-Tamugan Watershed that IDIS and Bantay Bukid Volunteers conducted in 2021 and 2022. 

Milky Gindon, IDIS policy advocacy officer, said Davaoeños and the LGUs should recognize how critical the watersheds are as  “strict protection zones or no-go zones.” 

Dili tanan nature areas pwede ang trekking o uban pang outdoor activities. Kung daghan tao makaadto, mas mudaghan sad ang basura sa atong water sources,” Gindon said. 

As stipulated in Davao City Ordinance No. 0675-21 “the organizers of any outdoor adventure/recreational activity within the watershed areas of Davao City must secure a certification from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) on the need of a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) as required by NCIP Administrative Order No. 3, series of 2012. Barangay officials should have been informed of the activity at least seven (7) days prior to its intended date. No FPIC certification, no trekking allowed.”

Section 3 (c) of Ordinance No. 0310-07, also known as the Watershed Code of Davao City, acknowledged that the watershed areas serve as recharge areas for the City’s aquifers which are essential sources of potable drinking water for the City’s population, and therefore, it is imperative to safeguard, preserve, and effectively manage them to ensure the continued and full enjoyment of the present and future generations.


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