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CITY OF KORONADAL — The Allah Valley Landscape Development Alliance (AVLDA) celebrated World Water Day with a forum that focused on its theme “Water and Jobs” at EMR Center, this city, last March 22.
Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes, AVLDA Chairperson and Guest of Honor said, that the forum is timely and relevant because “South Cotabato is the hardest hit among the provinces in Mindanao due to El Nino that caused millions of pesos worth of damage to agricultural crops.”
El Nino led to the declaration of state of calamity in some hard hit towns in the province, this despite, the massive cloud-seeding operations conducted jointly by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and the Department of Agriculture.
Governor Fuentes pointed out during the forum that “I think it is now high time that we talk about mitigation measures to be initiated specifically on how to conserve or store water so that if el nino hits again, we will not be badly hit by it.”
Aside from the Governor, Department of Tourism 12 Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera also presented the “Opportunities and Threats in the Tourism Industry” in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region particularly in the Allah Valley Corridor.
Likewise, technical presentations were made by DENR-MB 12 and Mindanao Development Authority with the discussants led by Senior Geologist Engr. Princess Danielle Matas (Groundwater Status of Allah Valley) and Gerardo Ramon Cesar B. Reynaldo (Mindanao River Basin: Gains and Ways Forward).
NGO BITS (Bio-Diversity, Innovation, Trade and Society) Policy Center based in General Santos City and headed by Atty. Elpidio Peria also presented a topic entitled “How LGUs and CSOs Can Address Water Issues Locally Amidst Global Concerns on Climate Change.”
An open forum ensued after the presentation moderated by Louie Pacardo, AVLDA Project officer for South Cotabato and concurrent AVLDA Officer-in-Charge.
The forum was attended by planning officers, environment officers, local government operations officers and officials of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.