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The Local Government Unit of the Province of Misamis Oriental held a planning session to ensure sustainable water resources and sanitation facilities amidst the rising population and rapid developments in the province. This was held at Amaya View, Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City on March 1, 2023.

The goal of the activity is to start rolling out among national and local government offices, the private sector, and other stakeholders the formulation of a Provincial Integrated Water Resources Security Plan and Sanitation. The event was co-organized by the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation (Oro Chamber).

Xavier Ateneo faculty members: Engr Dexter Lo (Vice President for Social Development) and Dr Guadalupe Calalang (Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering) were invited as resource persons. VP Lo talked about the increasing water demand and the challenged water availability of the region, emphasizing that climate change should be included in the equation. He showed examples of past studies including that of USAID’s Water Security for Resilient Economic Growth and Stability (Be Secure) Project, where XU is a legacy partner. Lo’s message corroborated with the Welcome Remarks delivered earlier by Mr John Venice Ladaga, the Provincial Administrator.

VP Lo emphasizing climate change is part of the equation in water security.

Dr Calalang, on the other hand, shared their ongoing ARES-CCD (Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur - Cellule de Coopération au Développement) -funded project called: Building up an Integrated Methodology for Water resources Assessment and Management in urban coastal areas (BIMWAM). The project sites are in the Municipalities of Opol and Medina, both in Misamis Oriental. The participants are looking forward to the results of the project, and expressed their desire for the project to be replicated in other municipalities.

Dr Calalang sharing the components and methodologies of the BIMWAM Project.

The participants were led by no less than Hon Peter "Sr Pedro" Unabia, Governor of the Province of Misamis Oriental. Municipal mayors, planning and development officers, and local water district managers from different municipalities were also in attendance. Government line agency directors and representatives from NEDA, DILG, DSWD, and others also joined the event. The private sector, led by Oro Chamber President Mr Raymundo Talimio Jr, and PCCI (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry) Northern Mindanao Governor Mr Ruben Vegafria, also participated.

Other resource persons were Dr Maria Luisa Salingay of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), Engr Rosalyn Yparraguirre of NEDA-10, and Dr Rachel Beja of the USAID Safe Water Project.

Towards the end of the workshop, Mr Stanley Uriarte, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, announced that a Water Security Planning Team, which will include Xavier Ateneo, will be convened soon.  

L-R: Mr. Uriarte (Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator), Mr. Vegafria (PCCI Northern Mindanao Governor), and Hon. Unabia (Misamis Oriental Governor)

Photos by: MisOr PIO