Stricter monitoring, regulation needed to protect Davao City’s upcoming water supply source

A BANTAY Bukid volunteer shows face masks collected during a clean-up activity last week at the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed. — @IDIS-DAVAO

AN UNLICENSED swimming pool resort and several cottages for leisure activities have sprang up in a supposedly conservation area of the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed, which is upstream of Davao City’s upcoming main water source.

The city’s Watershed Management Council has already submitted a resolution regulating recreational activities in watershed areas for the local council’s action, but an environmental advocacy group said such operations must immediately be banned.

“Stop the operation. IDIS is recommending that the activity should be stopped since it is located within the conservation area. Also, to avoid accidents as the resort is located under a cliff,” Mark T. Penalver, executive director of Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc., said in a text message.

IDIS and Bantay Bukid members, a pool of volunteers who serve as forest guards, noted an increasing amount of trash during their clean-up drive last week.

Among the wastes collected were face masks.

Mr. Penalver said authorities need to step up monitoring and regulation efforts to ensure the implementation of the city’s comprehensive Watershed Code.

The Aboitiz-Led Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. is set to complete this year the bulk supply project that will source water from the Tamugan River.

The P12.6-billion project will deliver 300 million liters per day to distributor Davao City Water District, which has been sourcing supply from underground water. — Maya M. Padillo

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