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NEWS STORY

SIKAME ti agaywan

By:George “Salamat” Astudillo Jr.

 

Holding a co-tribal watershed conservation effort for Abra and Mountain Province

 

U

nder agencies of the CHARM2 Project, they came. They united in their purpose and made a great plan. Finally, they agreed and vouched their full support to their plan.

 

As their ancestors would have done to reduce a common concern, the elders from the municipalities of Besao, Bontoc, Sadanga, Sagada and Tubo have deliberated and proposed recognition of their joint Sisipitan, Kaman-engel, Meng-meng Integrated Watershed Management Plan (SIKAME-IWMP).

 

The proposed integrated watershed plan suggest support to the watershed areas located in the municipality of Tubo in Abra and municipalities of Besao, Bontoc, Sadanga and Sagada in Mountain Province.

 

The genesis of this watershed proposal started as “Buasao Integrated Watershed Management Plan” but was renamed to Kamanengel Integrated Central Cordillera Integrated Watershed Management Plan (Kaman-engel CCIWMP) due to the existing conflict on the ownership of Buasao. Kaman-engel- CCIWMP was again renamed into Sisipitan, Kaman-engel, Meng-meng Integrated Watershed Management Plan (SIKAME-IWMP) for a wider coverage.

 

It was then agreed that the coverage of SIKAMEIWMP will be the barangays of Tabacda, Tiempo, Alangtin, Kili and Tubtuba for Tubo,Abra. For Mountain Province, the barangays Lacmaan, Agawa, Gueday, Ambagiw and Tamboan are covered in Besao, Barangay Mainit for Bontoc, Barangay Belwang for Sadanga and Barangays Aguid, Pide, Fedilisan, Madongo and Tanulong for Sagada.

 

On February 2-4, 2015, elders from the municipalities of Tubo, Besao, Bontoc, Sadanga and Sagada together with their LGU representatives gathered at City Travel Hotel in Baguio City to have a dialogue on the proposed integrated watershed management plan. The activity was facilitated by DENR, NCIP, NEDA and DA-CHARM2 Project.

 

The dialogue lasted for two days wherein the project objectives were presented and explained and the proposed project scope was agreed upon. J.R. Balag-ey Claver, CWCFMA Coordinator, said that the proposed plan envisions to come up with an integrated watershed management plan that will be managed by the five covered municipalities. He called it as “Inter-tribal co-management.”

 

The scope of the said project was identified and agreed upon by the elders who indicated the names of places/ land marks to be involved in the proposed project site. With the assistance of Forester Joseph Laza and Mr. Philip Tingonong, the participants were able to draw up an initial area of coverage and come up with a project title, SIKAME Integrated Watershed Management Plan. The proposed plan will be covering part and parcel of the major mountains of Central Cordillera located at Mount Sisipitan, Mount Kaman-engel and Mount Meng-meng. 

 

Statement of commitment was signed by the elders and LGU representatives of the municipalities of Tubo, Besao, Bontoc, Sadanga and Sagada. They all agreed to support the proposed SIKAME-IWMP. Furthermore, Certificate of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) were signed by barangay elders, representatives and officials of Barangays Tabacda, Tiempo, Alangtin, Kili and Tubtuba in the Municipality of Tubo, Province of Abra; Barangays Lacmaan, Agawa, Gueday, Ambagiw and Tamboan in the Municipality of Besao, Mountain Province and Barangays Pide, Fedilisan, Madongo and Tanulong in Sagada, Mountain Province. The Barangays of Aguid in Sagada, Mainit in Bontoc, Belwang in Sadanga, Mountain Province have yet to submit their FPIC.

 

It is expected that after the completion of the statement of commitment, a regional activity to consolidate data gathered on the final scope of the proposed project will be conducted.

May our dream of having an integrated watershed management plan to be managed by the involved tribes be fulfilled. May the SIKAME-IWMP be an instrument to close the conflict on “BUASAO” issue.//

 

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