3.18.2012

PIA News Service - Sunday, March 18, 2012

People asked to conserve water in summer

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 18 (PIA)
-- The government on Saturday cautioned people to conserve water particularly this summer season. “Let us put into practice what we’ve learned about conservation of water so that the next generation may continue to enjoy an unlimited supply of water resources," said Region Xlll Regional Executive Director (RED) Leonardo R. Sibbaluca of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Use water "wisely and intelligently,' he added.

He made this reminder even as the DENR prepares to celebrate activities for the World Water Day on March 22 with the theme, “Katiyakan sa Tubig, Katiyakan sa Pagkain.”

He said some people have the practice of throwing wastes into waterways which pollutes rivers, lakes, estuaries, and other water bodies which can affect our food resources. “Let us stop this bad habit of dumping wastes into the rivers, creeks, and esteroes to preserve our resources,” RED Sibbaluca said.

“We think it’s just a little matter when we see a busted pipes where fresh water leaks on the street but consider the volume of resources that are being wasted away which are considered precious to the people in other parts of the world suffering from inadequate water,” he added.

According to Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon JP Paje, the DENR has lined up activities focused on increasing public awareness to conserve water resources, “Because it is an important component of our life."

Secretary Paje said, “water is very much incorporated in the food supply chain, whether in irrigation and fisheries or producing feeds for our livestock,” Paje said.

The World Water Day 2012 will also look on how the swelling population can cope with the increasing pressure on available water resources by consuming less water-intensive products and reducing food wastage, which translates to lost water, according to him.

“This is the concept of measuring the ‘water footprint’ or the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed or produced,” Paje explained.

A water summit dubbed “Water Knowledge Fair" at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City will introduce “knowledge products” focused on delivering water services particularly in rural areas. This will be participated by government agencies, local government units, water service providers, and other stakeholders.

The participants will discuss different water-related programs and strategies. The event is being organized by the Philippine government, along with partners from the Millennium Development Goals Fund. (NCLM/MUC-PIA Caraga)

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P802-M budget to make Siargao a prime tourist destination

SAYAK AIRPORT, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Mar. 18 (PIA)
-- Finally, the Eden-like island that is Siargao Island has been noticed, and big time at that. In an objective to make the “paradise island” of Siargao the country’s modern tourist destination, a proposed P802-million budget for 2013 was strongly endorsed on Friday.

Surigao del Norte Representative Francisco T. Matugas made the endorsement as he briefed Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas during the inauguration of the newly completed P25-million Sayak Airport terminal here.

Matugas said the proposed budget will make Siargao Island and other tourist destinations in the province more globally competitive.He said the proposed fund will be used to complete all road networks to the various tourism sites. “We hope this budget proposal will be given priority next year because we are really aiming high to make this part of Mindanao globally competitive,” stressed Matugas.

Currently, in prepping up Siargao for bigger things, more than P100 million worth of various infrastructure projects such as roads, municipal and barangay (village) ports, and other national government offices are undergoing construction on the island’s nine towns.

The provincial government is also preparing for a five-day global fishing competition slated from April 28 to May 1, this year in Pilar town.

In another development, the Region-9 office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-9) said that President Aquino is expected to lead the inauguration of the P342 million Sanga-Sanga – Lapid-Lapid steel bridge in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi early next month.

Bridge Project Engineer Jul-Arab Kong of the DPWH-9 said that by April of this year, the bridge will be made opened to the public.

DPWH-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) Secretary Emil K. Sadain pointed out that after decades at attempting to construct the bridge project, “it is only now that we are to realize it.” The steel bridge is expected to spur economic growth and boost the social transformation of Tawi-Tawi.

The bridge, one of the priority projects of the national government, will connect the capital town of Bongao to the municipalities of Panglima Sugala, Sapa-Sapa, Tandubas, and Lunguyan.

“Most people in this province are eagerly waiting for the completion of the bridge since it will reduce travel time to this (Bonago) town,” Sadain was told.

The project, which started in 2008, has five components – the upgrading of the 7.6-kilometer Sanga-Sanga Road, upgrading of the 8.45-kilometer Lapid-Lapid Road, construction of Sanga-Sanga Bridge, construction of the Lapid-Lapid Bridge, and the implementation of the Bakhaw Dakula Link Road. (NCLM/MUC/PIA-Caraga)