Spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Caraga Regional Office and in partnership with the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD), a Regional Forum entitled: “Meeting the Challenges of the Big Cs in Water: A Learning Event on Human Rights-Based Local Water and Sanitation Governance” was held at Samping Avenue, 2nd Floor of Bo’s Coffee, J.C. Aquino Ave., Butuan City on April 26, 2013.

DILG Regional Director Lilibeth A. Famacion said that knowledge products derived from good practices and experiences from human rights-based groups in water and insights from the participants in the forum will provide innovative strategies to ensure that the Big Challenges in Water will be resolved.

RD Famacion said that that challenges in water, such as: (1) corruption, (2) climate change and disaster impacts, (3) conflicts, (4) issues in culture and indigenous practices, (5) gender challenges, and (6) capacity-development challenges and water financing will be addressed properly through human rights-based interventions.

The Forum aims to share practices and knowledge products that can be adopted or replicated by the municipalities in implementing their water and sanitation programs, to know the challenges in local water governance and how these can be addressed, and for the participants to identify practices and knowledge products that they can use or replicate in their localities.

“The Human Rights-Based approach in water governance is developed to help local government units, water-service providers and communities to have access in safe water supply through water system infrastructures and the empowerment of communities to manage the project”, said Fe Crisilla Banluta, Project Manager of DILG – Water System and Sanitation Unit (WSSU). 

Citizen-monitors organized in the Municipality of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur called the I-Watch Team (IWAG), which stand for Integrity-Watch for Water Anti-Corruption Group shared their experience in the conduct of constant monitoring in the finance process to prevent corruption in local water governance.

IWAG Board of Director Salvador Subla presented IWAG’s best practices and their milestones in ensuring that water services are readily available to the community and is free from corruption. Water associations in some invited LGUs wanted to replicate what the IWAG has been doing and said that they can have a local IWAG in their LGU so that the group will expand its organization and membership in some parts of the region. (Florian Faith Jr. P. Bayawa, LGOO II, DILG Region 13)



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