Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cebu calls for rehabilitation of the Buhisan watershed as it joins the PHL in celebrating World Water Day

Cebu calls for rehabilitation of the Buhisan watershed as it joins the PHL in celebrating World Water Day
By Fayette C. Riñen
Philippine Information Agency-Region 7
March 22, 2011

CEBU CITY, Mar. 22 (PIA) - As Cebu joins the country in celebrating World Water Day today, the need to rehabilitate the 100-year old groundwater surface source of Cebu City is given emphasis to maximize its potential of providing water supply to Metro Cebu’s burgeoning population.

The 27-meter high Buhisan Watershed Dam that was built in January 3, 1911 turned 100 years old this year as the need to rehabilitate the reservoir is given emphasis during the ‘Save the Buhisan Watershed’ Project Donors’ Recognition and Forum this morning at the watershed site.

Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) General Manager Engr. Armando Paredes bared the Buhisan reservoir has been providing water for the Cebuanos for 10 decades now.

“Sustaining the Buhisan reservoir is essential for Cebu’s growing population as the dam is tapped by the MCWD to supply water to residents and establishments of Metro Cebu,” Paredes said.

Paredes said public-private partnership (PPP) is vital in ensuring the rehabilitation, preservation and conservation of the 630 hectare-watershed area.

Donor-partners of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) that supported the ‘Save the Buhisan Watershed’ Project were given recognition in today’s activity.

In the last three years since the project was launched, the PBSP has collectively pooled P5.6M from its donor-partners to fund several projects within the watershed site that witnessed the inauguration of four projects. These are the1st bay Buhisan Watershed and Forest Reserve Nature Center, Two-Pond Storm Water Catchment System, Central Nursery of Indigenous Tree Seedlings and the Butterfly Sanctuary.

The PBSP has worked closely with the MCWD and the Cebu City Government in the development of Metro Cebu in several areas including the environment.

Jose Antonio Aboitiz, PBSP Visayas Executive Committee Chairman said the ‘Save the Buhisan Watershed’ Project is “one of the environmental-related response of the Cebu Business Community” to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of which the Philippines is one of the 189 member-signatories.

Aboitiz said since the this year is declared as the ‘International Year of the Forest’ the time is indeed ripe to strengthen forest management conservation within the watershed area.

“The Buhisan Watershed is an actual and symbolic role of Metro Cebu as the volume of water it supplies benefits about 2,500 households within Metro Cebu areas,” Aboitiz revealed.

But Aboitiz however, said the reservoir’s potential water supply capacity has not been maximized and that in order to capitalize its full potential, rehabilitation is a must so it could be brought back to its original condition 100 years ago. (PIA-Cebu/Fayette C. Riñen)