SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED BY BUTUAN CITY WATER DISTRICT (BCWD) WITHIN THE TAGUIBO RIVER WATERSHED FOREST RESERVE (TRWFR)

Background

Butuan City Water District (BCWD) is a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC), duly organized and existing under and by virtue of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 198, known as “Provincial Water Utilities Act of 1973” as amended by PD No. 768 and PD No. 1476, mandated to provide and maintain an efficient water supply system to meet the needs of the community for safe drinking water. In order to fulfill this fundamental mission, BCWD led the effort of initiating the identification and proclamation of a watershed area to maintain, protect and preserve the Taguibo River, its main source of water supply in the City of Butuan.

The Taguibo River was proclaimed as a Watershed Forest Reserve last September 4, 1997 by President Fidel V. Ramos under Proclamation No. 1076. The area covers 4,367.44 hectares which include Barangay Anticala in Butuan City, Barangay San Antonio in Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) and Barangay Mahaba in Cabadbaran Agusan del Norte and a portion of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.  The rationale of its proclamation is establishing the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve for the purpose of protection, maintenance and improvement of its water yield and providing restraining mechanism for inappropriate forest exploitation and land use practices.

The Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve (TRWFR) is the major source of potable water, supplied by the Butuan City Water District (BCWD), to over 40,000 concessionaires or more than 200,000 individuals. The Watershed also supplies water to National Irrigation Administration (NIA) irrigation dams servicing vast hectares of rice lands, and a source of livelihood for watershed occupants.

In 1998, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) to Indigenous People (IP) portion of the proclaimed TRWFR, and in 2009 said CADC was then converted into Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).

Since portion of the TRWFR is also CADT area, the BCWD has been extending assistance and implementing developmental projects to the concerned IPs in Barangay Anticala, Butuan City. These include (1) Infrastructure Projects, (2) Livelihood Projects, and (3) Reforestation Projects.

 

Developmental Projects Implemented and Assistance to the Indigenous People (IPs) / Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) / Farmers / Watershed Occupants

a)    Assistance to the Anticala Watershed Farmers Producers Cooperative (AWFPC), formerly known as Anticala Watershed Farmers Association (AWFA)

Anticala Watershed Farmers Association (AWFA) is a duly organized association in Barangay Anticala, Butuan City, a portion of Taguibo Watershed. Many of its members are Indigenous People (LUMAD) in the area and also members of Manobo-Mamanwa tribe under CADT 135. AWFA has been a partner of BCWD since it was established sometime in 2002.  AWFA continuously supports BCWD in its endeavor to preserve and protect the watershed. In same manner, BCWD also supports AWFA by providing logistics during their meetings and other activities. This is the organization that is closely linked with BCWD; hence, most of BCWD’s projects and activities in the watershed are well-coordinated with this group.

BCWD assisted the registration of the AWFA to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). Last March 25, 2013, the AWFA was officially registered as Anticala Watershed Farmers Producers Cooperative (AWFPC) under Registration No. 9520-13023183. For this year (2015), there are more than 100 IPs/Farmers/Watershed occupants’ that are members of AWFPC.

b)    Infrastructure Development

 (Multi-purpose Hall and Sanitation Facilities)

BCWD completed the construction of watershed stakeholders’ Multi-Purpose Hall located at Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Anticala, Butuan City. The Multipurpose Hall serves as the venue for gatherings and meetings of AWFPC members and other groups/organizations of IPs.

Nine (9) Units of dual Comfort Rooms with Level II Water Supply System were completed and turned over to Sitios Bungadman, Tagkiling and Mahayahay, all in Barangay Anticala, Butuan City. The main objective of the construction of the sanitation facilities is to promote healthy sanitation practices among the IPs and to initially address the sanitation issues within the watershed area.

These infrastructural projects implemented by BCWD within the TRWFR and CADT-135 were properly coordinated with the IPs and undergone public consultation in the area.

c)    Promote Organic Farming

BCWD promotes organic farming practices among the IPs/farmers within Taguibo Watershed through seminars and implementations. Last 2008, BCWD sponsored a 3-day live-in seminar on organic farming held at Brgy. Pigdaulan, Butuan City.  The seminar was conducted by the Social Action Center – Justice and Peace (SAC-JP) and participated in by thirty farmers from Brgy. Anticala, Butuan City.

Promotion of organic farming in the Taguibo Watershed is vital to avoid the use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides by the farmers that might alter the inherent water quality of the Taguibo River.

d)    Improvement of Water Supply at Sitio Iyao, Anticala, Butuan City

One of BCWD’s projects in 2011 was the improvement of water supply system of Sitio Iyao, Barangay Anticala, Butuan City.

The residents of Purok 4, Sitio Iyao, Barangay Anticala requested our office to construct a water tankwithin their community to improve their water supply for domestic consumption. In response to their request, the BCWD personnel conducted series of ocular survey in the area and discovered that the residents of Purok 4, Sitio Iyao, Brgy. Anticala obtain their water supply for their domestic consumption from a spring by means of gravity and collected in a reservoir through an eight (8) inch concrete pipe.  The reservoir is located about 24 meters above the residential area with the capacity of 21 cubic meters.

The community conveyed water from the reservoir by connecting a single 2-inch diameter galvanized iron pipe. The said pipe was laid about 329 meters down, and directly connected to their individual taps. However, the pipe line was not large enough to meet the water demands of the community. Most of the individual connections had no faucets to control the flow of water when it is not used.

Out of the above findings, and in order to address the request of the community, BCWD installed an additional 2-inch diameter P.E. pipe from the existing reservoir towards a strategic location near the community and at the end of the pipeline, a cluster was installed to fix communal connections/faucets conveniently.

On December 2011, 3 units of communal faucets were already functional.

The BCWD’s project of water supply system within the watershed area is part of its corporate social responsibility among the people within the watershed area. In addition to the provision stipulated in the ECC issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), number 28 of the provisions under the Social-Economic Amelioration, “That BCWD shall provide a level II water supply system in Barangay Anticala. Establishment of such shall be free of charge but the operation maintenance shall be shouldered by the users or the Barangay LGU”.

e)    BCWD Supports and Implements National Greening Program (NGP)

His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III issued an Executive Order (EO) No. 26 on February 24, 2011, declaring the implementation of the National Greening Program. The National Greening Program (NGP) seeks the attainment of sustainable human development, economic and ecological security to reduce poverty, promote food security, environmental stability and biodiversity conservation, and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation.

On June 23, 2014 a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was entered into by and between the DENR Regional Office represented by its Regional Director, BCWD as the Second Party, Father Saturnino Urios University Foundation Incorporated (FSSUFI) as the Third Party and District Constituency Office (DCO) 1st district of Agusan del Norte as the Fourth Party for the implementation of the “One Hundred Thirty Hectares” (130) National Greening Program in the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve (TRWFR), and in the areas of CADT 135. Anticala Watershed Farmer Producers Cooperative (AWFPC), with CDA registration number RN 9520-13023183, was identified and selected as the conduit People’s Organization (PO) to manage the 130 hectares NGP of the TRWFR.

A sum of Two Million Four Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand Pesos Only (Php 2,495,000.00) project cost for three (3) years was shouldered by the DENR. BCWD also provided counterpart amounting to Four Million Eight Hundred Twenty Six Thousand and Two Hundred Fifty Pesos Only (Php 4, 826, 250.00). Likewise, Father Saturnino Urios University Foundation Inc. (FSUUFI) provided financial support in the amount of Two Hundred Ninety-nine Thousand Pesos Only (Php 299,000.00) for the intercropping of Abaca within the 130 hectares target.

Most of the beneficiaries of the NGP were the IPs and farmers with in the TRWFR and CADT 135. The 130 hectares NGP project was successfully completed on December 2014. Approximately 65,000 of grafted fruits and forest tree seedlings were planted at 500 seedlings per hectare. Continues implementation of maintenance activities are undertaken up to the year 2017 to ensure high survival rate of planted seedlings, thus, providing them additional income because BCWD made IPs and farmers as working partners for a fee in maintenance and protection of their own NGP sites.


Other Social Development Programs and Assistance Implemented by BCWD

1)    Goat Dispersal (CY 2004);

2)    Hiring of local residents particularly IPs for the maintenance of the Infiltration Gallery (from 2006 up to present);

3)    Providing 12 sacks of rice per month for rice assistance to the members of Tribal Council of Rebel Returnees (TRICOR) from  1998 – up to present;

4)    Providing 2 sacks of rice per month to Dugyaman Elementary School, Sitio Dugyaman, Anticala Butuan City (CY 2015);

5)    Donating four (4) units of farm sprayer and T-Shirt Uniform to AWFPC;

6)    Providing livelihood project through planting of Abaca suckers; and

7)    Hiring of IPs for the implementation of additional reforestation projects on top of NGP and other watershed related projects for CY 2014 - 2015.

Conduct of mass feeding, deworming and gift-giving to children residing within the Taguibo Watershed.

Last Update: November 23, 2015