With the local theme “Hawak Kamay, Tubig Kaagapay,” the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 10, through Project Development and Management Unit (PDMU), participated in the celebration of World Water Day 2019.

             The activity, conducted on March 29 at De Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, was intended to (1) promote the conservation and sustainable use of water resources of the country, (2) advocate the important role and protection of the environment which affects the water resources, and (3) increase the level of awareness and involvement of the public about World Water Day, as well as the various initiatives of the DILG about water supply and sanitation.

             In his message, DILG 10 Regional Director urged the participants to take part in putting premium to water resources and usage saying, “Water is so thirsty with the people’s attention, let us quench it the way it deserves; and my challenge is for us to continue being responsible citizens as we are as one in creating contented, happy and healthy communities.”

             Attendees were representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs)/non-government organizations (NGOs) namely, Urban Poor Alliance, Group Foundation, Inc., Seeway, Inc., Safer River, Life saver Foundation Inc., along with Cagayan de Oro Water District and student representatives from Xavier University (XU), University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), Liceo de Cagayan University, Phinma-COC, Lourdes College, and Pilgrim Christian College.

             During the activity, one concern raised was on the water leakage in the streets of some barangays in Cagayan de Oro City and in response, Engr. Batar of Cagayan de Oro Water District admitted that they are having a hard time coping with the occurrences of leaks in the city but they are working on it. “We assure you that we are concerned about it and our team has consistently been doing all the necessary actions to solve this problem.”

             Moreover, empowered by the advocacy, a student-participant pressed on how can the academe take part in the water movements and projects of the government institutions.

             “What we really need today is not just to do all these things but to come up with a water movement where people would be proud to be part in conserving our resources, particularly water,” Social Development Vice-President Roel Ravanera said.

             According to him, if we can show them that we can do it, then it can be done by everybody else. Seconded by resource speaker Engr. Lluisma from the Environmental Management Bureau, she suggested them to participate in estero clean-up drives of the institution and even adapt one of them for sustainable operations.

             “Every time we consume a resource from nature, we steal from future generations,” Engr. Batar quoted, urging the participants to always give back to nature no matter how simple and small the effort is.