The RDC CAR, in its 4th quarter meeting on 15 November 2017in Bangued, Abra, approved the Integrated Management and Development Master Plans for the Abra, Agno and Cagayan River Basins and endorsed these to the DENR for adoption and implementation. These plans support the region’s role as the Watershed Cradle of North Philippines. As articulated in the Cordillera Regional Development Plan 2017-2022, the Cordillera, which hosts 13 river basins, is the source of water for irrigation, domestic and industrial use not only of the region but also of the adjoining Regions I, II and III.
The River Basin Control Office (RBCO) of the DENR, the lead government agency for the integrated planning, management, rehabilitation and development of the country’s river basins, identified these three river basins as among the 18 priority river basins nationwide for sustainable resource management and provided funds for the preparation of master plans to address the problem of flooding and ensure the sustainable supply of water for domestic, agricultural and industrial use within the river basin and downstream areas.
The master plans adhere to the integrated river basin management framework or the ridge to reef concept that address concerns on: (1) water resources management, (2) watershed rehabilitation and management, (3) flood control and disaster risk reduction, (4) river delta management, (5) coastal and freshwater resources management, (6) biodiversity conservation, (7) climate change adaption, (8) economic development and (9) institution-building for stakeholder participation in river basin management.
Among the programs and projects to address water pollution and depletion, watershed degradation, flooding and siltation of river systems are reforestation, river bank stabilization, sustainable farming, flood control infrastructure, waste management, dredging, livelihood projects and the establishment of river basin management councils.
The master plans have been endorsed for approval by the concerned provincial governments and the Regional Development Councils of Region I (for the Agno River Basin) and Region 2 (for the Cagayan River Basin that includes the Chico River in CAR).
These plans may serve as basis for the preparation of detailed proposals and the conduct of feasibility studies for project implementation by the National Government. Funding an implementation may also be through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or Official Development Assistance (ODA). xxx