P5M for Davao City watershed protection
By ROGER M. BALANZA
The Watershed Management Council (WMC) said P5M has been earmarked for watershed protection as City Hall preps up for the full implementation this year of the Davao City Watershed Protection, Conservation and Management Ordinance.
WMC chaired by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and co-chaired by city administrator Wendel Avisado is the policy-making and implementing body of the ordinance authored by councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling.
We are now ready to fully implement the ordinance, said Cabling, a WMC member, after the meeting of the special body at City Hall yesterday.
Antonio Boquiren, City Hall technical consultant on the watershed code, said however the proposed P5M million funding would still have to be approved by the Local Finance Board.
But he said the WMC is on the path to tackle watershed concerns, during the meeting attended by all of the 22-member special body.
The ordinance now known also known as the Watershed Code aims to protect about 40,000 hectares of conservation areas, agro-forestry and non-tillage areas in the watershed areas acting as recharge points for the city aquifer that provides water to the Dabawenyos.
The WMC would be supported in the watershed protection initiatives by the Barangay Watershed Management Council (BWMC) and the Watershed Multi-Partite Monitoring Council (WMMC), the twin bodies created by the code to set into motion ground-level protection strategies.
The initial P5 million fund mandated by the code would be backstopped by revenues from the Environmental Code slapping P0.25 per hectare tax annually on agribusiness of 50 hectares and above.