NEDA, Korea, $2.5 million water project partner

The National Economic and Development Administration (NEDA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) formed a partnership for a $2.5 million water management project.

The partnership was formalized through a Minutes of Discussion signed by NEDA and Koica on Friday to implement the project “Capacity Building for Integrated Water Resources Management and Sustainable Development”.

“This landmark event holds great promise for improving vital services such as water supply, sanitation, irrigation and flood control through integrated water resources management or IWRM,” said Socio-Economic Planning Minister Arsenio Balisacan.

“By ensuring the fair, efficient and sustainable management and distribution of our water resources, we can start on a path of progress,” said Balisakan, also the secretary general of NEDA.

The capacity development project is estimated at approximately $2.5 million and will run until 2024 to improve the managerial and technical capacity of institutions working in the water industry.

The program complements the policies outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which affirms integrated water and resource management as a means to improve the restoration, protection, and management of the country’s ecosystems.

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Balisakan stressed the importance of the project in addressing the problems of the water sector caused by weak governance and fragmented systems.

“We must address these shortcomings by introducing efficient water management 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 added.

For his part, Kim Eunsub, Regional Director of Koica Philippines, acknowledged the need to strengthen the capacity of the Philippine government to deal with the risks and challenges in the water sector.

“Our project was designed to help water agencies implement IWRM reforms and address growing water demand, inadequate water infrastructure, and growing threats of climate change,” Ynsub said.

A Koica official expressed optimism that this initiative will help the government achieve its goal of providing universal access for Filipinos to safe and sustainable water and sanitation.

To ensure effective implementation, NEDA will work closely with the National Water Board, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Local Water Authority, and the National Irrigation Authority.

As part of their efforts to achieve the objectives of the project, according to NEDA, implementing organizations will cooperate in the development of the Roadmap for cooperation between the Philippines and Korea in the field of IWRM.

NEDA has stated that it will also work with the Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This will ensure the successful implementation of the capacity building project in line with WRMO’s mandate to integrate and harmonize all government efforts to achieve sustainable water resources management.