DENR PENRO Cavite through the Production Forest and Management Unit, facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the creation of the Watershed Management Council (WMC) for Timalan River Watershed (TRW) to strengthen the collaboration efforts of DENR and other critical stakeholders in sustainable management of watersheds. Said MOA signing was held on September 12, 2023, at Hotel Dominique, Tagaytay City, Cavite.

The event was graced by Cavite Provincial Governor Hon. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” C. Remulla together with the City Mayor of Trece Martires Hon. Gemma B. Lubigan. Also present during the event is the Regional Executive Director of DENR CALABARZON Nilo B. Tamoria along with Cavite PENR Officer Januel R. Peras.

Likewise, several national government agencies and stakeholders of TRW  also attended the ceremonial event; these include MENR Officer Mendandro Dimaranan of Tanza; MENR Officer Antonette Digno of Naic; Engr. Romulo Angeles of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA); Engr. Rolando Valdez of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cavite 1DEO; Mr. Ruben Perlas of the Department of Agriculture (DA); Provincial Director James Arthur Dubingco of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); General Manager Juliet R. Ocampo of Cavite Province Association of Water Districts; Chairperson Samuel C. Plazo of Capipisa Fisherman’s Association; Chairperson Allan I. Iglip of Samahang Magtatalaba at Mangingisda; and Chairperson Francisco P. Cunanan Jr. of Trece Martires City Farmers Association Incorporated.

Cavite PENR Officer emphasized that managing the environment and natural resources is not a task of a sole agency but rather a collective initiative and effort of various groups and stakeholders as a stride to promote inclusive action and intervention towards environmental protection and conservation. PENRO Peras proudly conveyed that TRW is the first-ever watershed in the CALABARZON Region that will have a Watershed Management Council through MOA.

City Mayor Gemma B. Lubigan also rendered a message for the event.  She conveyed that the WMC shall be a collaboration of various stakeholders for the effective implementation of the plans and programs for TRW. Mayor Lubigan said that on the same day they were also celebrating the tribute for the thirteen (13) martyrs of Trece Martires hence, adhering to that day’s event, she said “bilang lingkod bayan, kailangan nating isabuhay ang mga halimbawa na tutularan ng mga kabataan—ang pagiging makaDiyos, may respeto sa kapwa at may malasakit sa kalikasan".

Meanwhile, DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria delivered a meaningful message that focused on the essence of the watershed: its management and governance. RED Tamoria said “Ang halaga ng watershed ay hindi lamang tungkol sa tubig, kundi ito ay konektado pa sa maraming bagay—kapag atin itong pinagsama-sama, ito ang nagiging function ng isang watershed”, RED Tamoria emphasized in his message that a watershed provides a wide array of services for human consumption. Without these resources, people will barely survive in their daily lives. Hence, it is vital that we exert concrete plans and programs to conserve these resources, and the creation of WMC is one good step to begin with.

RED Tamoria added “Siguraduhin natin na ang ating pinirmahan at batay na rin sa ating kanya-kanyang mandato ay maiaambag natin sa pagsasagawa ng mga plano sa loob ng TRW”. He also reminded that the LGUs should incorporate the plans and accomplishments within TRW in the updating of their respective Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs). RED Tamoria also reiterated that developments have implications for our environment, which is why sustainable development was coined. It ensures that all forms of development should work well without compromising the integrity of the environment. “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success” RED Tamoria’s closing spiel.

Timalan River Watershed has a total drainage area of 4,532.05 hectares that traverses three (3) towns namely: Naic, Trece Martires City, and Tanza, and crosses nineteen (19) barangays.

The Watershed Management Council was promulgated to further strengthen the collaboration between the DENR, DILG, LGUs, NGOs, POs, and other critical stakeholders in the sustainable management of watersheds. The creation of the council aims to standardize and provide guidance on the institutionalization of existing and creation of new Watershed Management Councils to ensure the participatory, collaborative, multi-sectoral, and interdisciplinary principles of watershed management in accordance with existing laws, rules, and regulations. ###