The Provincial Government of Negros Occidental in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Provincial Integrated Water Security Program (PIWSP), today, with the aim to further increase access to resilient water supply, improve water resource management, and strengthen water sector governance in the province.
PIWSP entails local water security roadmap that espouses the development principles and strategies of the Philippine Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the province and USAID, for the said program, was signed last year with the primary aim to leverage respective strengths, expertise, technologies, and resources to achieve water security.
One of the basis for the water security program is the result of the Climate Risk Assessment conducted by USAID Safe Water Group that showed that Bago River Watershed is vulnerable to drought and Malogo River Watershed is vulnerable to flooding and landslide.
Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, presented the PIWSP in the Provincial Government’s official website that can be accessed by the public, at the launching activity.
According to him, the Hydrologic Study conducted by Safe Water will help make informed decisions in the implementation of strategic projects in the province’s watersheds.
Governor Lacson said that the scarcity of potable water is a pressing concern that is further aggravated by water pollution, water borne diseases, climate change, and deforestation.
He also said that skillful and educated collaborations are needed to have real, effective, powerful, and sustainable solutions, and the government and other concerned stakeholders must collaborate.
“Today’s launching of the Provincial Integrated Water Security Program is a significant step towards a serious, science & evidence based approach, and in-depth water governance for a more inclusive and sustainable development in the province of Negros Occidental,” he said.
He thanked the USAID Safe Water Program for choosing Negros Occidental and the 3 Million Negrenses to be the recipients of their expertise and support.
Forester Edgardo Rostata of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) – Negros Occidental, together with other stakeholders were present at the activity held at the Capitol Social Hall, with the theme, “Securing our Water Resources”.
Patrick Wesner, Acting Mission Director of USAID Philippines, Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), and Atty. Julie Ann Bedrio, Executive Assistant to the Governor for PEMO Affairs, Negros Occidental mayors and environment officers, among others, also joined the activity via online.