The Isabela State University (ISU) and the City of Santiago hosted the International Stakeholders Forum on Integrated Flood Risk Management in the Cagayan River Basin at Zen Hotel, Santiago City, Isabela on July 14 to 16, 2022, convening participants from regional line agencies, local governments, and the academe. The forum revolved around the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach and its application to the Cagayan River Basin.

IWRM promotes a participatory approach to the sustainable development of water, land and related resources within a hydrologic basin. Resource persons from the Japan Water Agency (JWA), Kyoto University, Department of Science and Technology, and other institutions shared their expertise and expounded on proposed measures to rehabilitate the Magat Reservoir and ongoing researches for water resource management in the Philippines.

The Build Back Better Task Force also provided updates on post-disaster recovery efforts and interventions for flood mitigation. The DENR Region 2 reported that over 1300 hectares were planted along the along the Cagayan River in 2021, with greening activities continuing this year. Moreover, the DPWH Region 2 presented the progress of sandbar removal and construction of bank protection works. The National Irrigation Administration – Magat River Integrated Irrigation System presented the real-time Dam Deformation Monitoring System for Magat Dam.

To culminate the day’s activities, the NEDA Region 2 delegates facilitated a workshop, gathering comments of stakeholders regarding flood management in the Cagayan River Basin and synthesizing these during the closing ceremony.

The event’s highlight was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the JWA and the Cagayan River Basin Management Council, with the ISU, Kyoto University and the Provincial Government of Isabela, to strengthen collaboration in fostering integrated water management practices. #NEDA2-PFPD