The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON through the Conservation and Development Division- Production Forest Management Section (CDD-PFMS) had meetings with the Conservation International Philippines (CI PH) regarding the proposed partnership for the creation of a watershed management council (WMC) for Calumpang River Watershed located in the province of Batangas.

CI PH had a courtesy call with DENR CALABARZON, headed by Regional Executive Director Nilo B. Tamoria, on June 9, 2023 at the DENR Regional Office in Calamba City to initially discuss the said proposal.

The said visit was followed with a meeting among DENR CALABARZON CDD PFMS, CI PH, and DENR-CENRO Lipa City on June 15, 2023 for a more detailed discussion and planning for the said creation. During the meeting, CENRO Lipa was tasked to identify the critical stakeholders in accordance with the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2021-41. Moreover, DENR CALABARZON was assigned to lead the preparation of the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CI PH and critical stakeholders, identifying the specific roles and responsibilities of each Party.

The concerned parties are set to have its next meeting on July 17, 2023 for the presentation of the draft MOA based on the said DAO, as well as the background of the Calumpang River Watershed.

Prior to the said meetings with the regional department, DENR Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and CI PH first had an exploratory meeting regarding this matter on March 15, 2023. This initiative is being supported by the USAID Climate Resilient Cities Project through CI PH, as part of its efforts towards improved sustainable landscapes. Batangas City is one of the recipients of the said project, and the creation of the said WMC is a key component of the project’s objectives.

As agreed during the said meeting, CI PH will provide financial assistance throughout the entire WMC creation process while the DENR will facilitate the necessary preparations including convening meetings with the concerned local government units.

Calumpang River Watershed covers an area of 42,700-ha. in Lipa City, Batangas City, and the municipalities of Cuenca, Padre Garcia, Rosario, San Jose, and Taysan in the province of Batangas. Calumpang River, located in Batangas City, drains into the Verde Island Passage.

The said watershed is not included in the 131 priority critical watersheds of the DENR. Despite this, the department deems it necessary to institutionalize the creation of a WMC for the same for its effective and sustainable management.