With the looming threats of climate change, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) in coordination with the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) is gearing up for the 2nd Water Summit to be held on March 22, 2016 at Plaza del Norte Convention Center.
“The summit is a follow-up to the same event held last November 2014 which focused on consultation with various agricultural stakeholders and other concerned sectors regarding what fitting projects and programs should be implemented,” said Provincial Information Officer June Arvin C. Gudoy.
He added that this year’s summit will intensify the commitment of Governor Imee R. Marcos in mapping out comprehensive and workable policies that shall finalize the Provincial Water Management Plan (PWMP).
Sustainable Center for Development Officer Edwin Cariño noted that this year’s water summit will be more “output-centered and focus on policy formulation” with the participation of more than 400 policy-makers, farmers, students and private and public organizations from the province.
Most importantly, the summit seeks to establish a federation of the different sectors across the province to ensure the effective implementation and monitoring of the PWMP, noted Cariño.
He further revealed that the summit will heed to the proposals of the various sectors especially those in the agriculture field who remains to be affected in what the United Nations Weather Agency noted “as the worst of one of the strongest dry spells on record.”
Gripped by the impact of the El Niño-induced drought, Ilocano farmers remain to be supported by the provincial government through organizing agricultural resiliency fora and launching its flagship agriculture program known as Paspas Dur-as Biag ti Away! last year.
Through the latter, Governor Marcos continuously visits the agricultural communities across the province with the aim to directly determine the main problems and needs of Ilocano farmers.
Recently, she led the distribution of the agricultural products and equipment including seeds, tractors, water pumps, back sprayers to farmers in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.
With this, the 2nd Water Summit will push for the development and improvement of agricultural infrastructure such as small farm reservoirs, small water impounding projects, diversion dams, among others.
Moreover, the summit is expected to feature topics that are relevant to effective water provision and management which include “potable water, environmental protection and watershed management and conservation, solid waste management and climate change mitigation,” noted Cariño.
Notable lecturers and speakers from the different public and private agencies are being tapped by the provincial government to hold discussions regarding the said topics.—John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO