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Davao del Norte execs back Libuganon River master plan

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, April 28 — Local chief executives (LCEs) of Davao del Norte are one in supporting the formulation of an integrated master plan and the creation of a management council to rehabilitate the Tagum Libuganon River Basin (TLRB).

Governor Rodolfo del Rosario and the mayors of local government units in the province within the TLRB pledged their commitment to support initiatives that seek the betterment of the river basin.

The governor said the crafting of the master plan is an opportunity for the people of the three provinces where the Libuganon River traverses “to express our unity as one people.”

Melchor Ozaraga, OIC Regional Technical Director for Forestry of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-XI said the 15-year master plan will serve as a crucial planning tool in the rehabilitation and sustainable management of one of the largest watersheds in the country.

The TLRB is among the 18 major river basins in the country which are adopted by the Aquino administration as priority areas of government intervention.

The river basin covers 306,400 hectares straddling 14 municipalities and 1 city in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur.

TLRB plays a central role in the economic and ecological viability of Davao del Norte since nine out of its 11 LGUs are affected by flash floods when the Libuganon River and its tributaries swell during the onslaught of typhoons and low pressure areas.

A particular LPA last January caused massive flooding in seven LGUs of the province, affecting 43,737 individuals and damaging over P118 million worth of crops and infrastructure.

As a gesture of support to the initiative, the Provincial Development Council (PDC) approved a resolution enjoining the LGUs of Davao del Norte to facilitate the data requirements in the formulation of the master plan, which will be completed by the end of June 2014.

The respective governors of the three provinces within the TLRB are set to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 7, 2014 at the Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City.

Ozaraga said the MOU is essential for the creation of the TLRB Management Council, which will be tasked to harmonize the land use plans of the LGUs affecting the river basin and to establish a working mechanism that will enhance collaborative undertakings and promote participatory management, among other functions. (PNA)

LAP/LCM/PR/LDP

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