Waterways clearing for climate adaptation in Davao Oriental

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THE Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the municipality of Boston in Davao Oriental kicked off a project called “Community-based Waterways Clearing Project as an Adaptive Measure to Reduce Flooding” this month.

Headed by Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. and now in its 50th year, Searca is mandated to build capacities of individuals and institutions working in the broad area of agricultural and rural development.

The clearing project is under the auspices of a larger initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the CCC called “Climate Resilience and Green Growth in Critical Watersheds,” which is funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

By mid-April 2017, almost 3 kilometers of waterways running through barangays Carmen and Cabasagan, as well as the Poblacion, in Boston, will have been dredged and cleared by workers from the local community organizations tapped by Searca and its partners.

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Judith Castres, executive assistant at the Office of the Mayor of Boston, expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the ADB, CCC and Searca Consortium to their municipality. He added that the hope among his people is that the  CCC will further extend its support to Boston.

On the other hand, the community representatives expressed commitment to support the municipality. They said they did the same with the previous rehabilitation projects with the United Nations Development Programme and the International Labor Organization, after Boston was ravaged by Typhoon Pablo. In response, Alexis Lapiz of the CCC said the Boston local government can submit a proposal to access the People’s Survival Fund for its priority climate-change adaptation initiatives. He added the CCC gives premium to community-based and people-oriented projects, particularly those that deal with environmental conservation and protection, livelihood and enterprise development and climate-change adaptation.

Searca also offered assistance to Boston in the preparation of the feasibility study of its project proposal covering the sea wall, mangrove rehabilitation and ecotourism development.