The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 had recently inked the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the creation of Mau-it Tipulu-an River Integrated Watershed Management Council (MTRIWMC) on August 23, 2023 at Diversion 21 Hotel, Iloilo City.

The creation of the Management Council is recommended based on DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2021-41 or the Guidelines in the Creation of Watershed Management Councils, which states that it is the policy of the State to protect and advance a balance and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through adoption of ridge-to-reef approach and integrated area development. This will serve as the policy governing body that will manage the watershed area and will strengthen the collaboration among the different government agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs), Peoples Organization (POs), and other stakeholders involved in the management of the watershed.

DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran said: “water plays a vital role in our daily lives, from household, domestic, to agricultural use we can’t live without water. Proper utilization of water does not only help in our daily lives but also helps us conserve this precious resource for our future generations.”

The MOA was also inked by the Provincial Government of Antique together with the Local Chief Executives of the Municipalities of Sibalom, San Remegio, Valderrama, Patnongon, San Jose and Belison; Provincial Government of Iloilo together with the Local Chief Executives of the Municipalities of Alimodian, Igbaras, Leon and Miag-ao; National Economic Development Authority (NEDA); Department of Agriculture (DA); Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); National Irrigation Administration (NIA); University of Antique (UA); People Organizations (POs); and other stakeholders.

The Mau-it Tipulu-an River Watershed is one of the large critical watersheds in Region 6 found within the provinces of Antique and Iloilo. Portions of the watershed are found in the stretch of Sibalom Natural Park (SNP), known for its high number of endemic flora and fauna species.

Furthermore, the watershed supplies clean water to a total of 14, 755 households in the province of Antique through the Sibalom Water District and San Jose Waterworks Service Cooperative.