PH, Korea ink water resources management project

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 26, 2023, 7:48 pm

MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed Friday the Record of Discussions to implement the Capacity Building for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Sustainable Development project.

The USD2.5-million capacity development project, which will continue until 2024, aims to increase the management and technical skills of institutions involved in the water resources sector.

“This momentous occasion holds great promise for the improvement of vital services, such as water supply, sanitation, irrigation, and flood control under the framework of Integrated Water Resources Management or the IWRM. By ensuring equitable, efficient, and sustainable management and allocation of our water resources, we can embark on a path of progress,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement.

Under the agreement, NEDA will implement the project in coordination with the National Water Resources Board, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Local Water Utilities Administration and the National Irrigation Administration.

NEDA will also coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Water Management Office (WRMO) to make sure that the implementation is aligned with the WRMO’s mandate on integrating and harmonizing all government efforts towards ensuring sustainable management of water resources in the country.

The Philippines-Korea IWRM Cooperation Roadmap will also be established to achieve the project's objectives.

The project, likewise, aims to offer training to personnel in the Philippines and dispatch experts from Korea to provide technical advice.

Balisacan said the project will help address the issues in the country's water sector.

“We must address these shortcomings by embracing effective water governance through integrated water resources management. By harmonizing the planning and management of land, water, and coastal resources, we can overcome these obstacles and create a brighter future for all,” he said.

KOICA Philippines country director Kim Eunsub, meanwhile, said the project will help the Philippine government achieve its goal to provide universal access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation for Filipinos.

“KOICA recognizes the need to enhance the capability of the Philippine government in dealing with challenges and threats in the water sector. Our project was designed to help water agencies implement IWRM reforms and address issues on increasing water demand, insufficient water infrastructure, and rising climate change threats,” Kim said. (PNA)