June 20, 2024

The Environmental Management Bureau-Cordillera recognized its partners in the water quality management of rivers in the region.
EMB-Cordillera Director Ma. Victoria Abrera and Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Director Ralph Pablo awarded plaques of recognition to individuals, local government units, government agencies, civil society organizations, and the academe for their commitment, active participation, and unending 1support to the Balili, Bued, and Amburayan Water Quality Management Areas (WQMA).
The awardees are the provincial government of Benguet; the city government of Baguio; and La Trinidad, Sablan, Itogon, Tuba, Atok, Bakun, Buguias, Kapangan, Tublay, and Kibungan.
Partners from the national line agencies are the departments of Agriculture, Public Works and Highways, Health, Environment and Natural Resources, Science and Technology, Education, Trade and Industry, Interior and Local Government, Tourism, Human Settlements and Urban Development, National Economic Development Authority, National Irrigation Administration, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, National Water Resources Board, Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Philippine Information Agency, and EMB-Region 1.  
Those recognized from the private and business sectors are the John Hay Management Corporation; Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.; Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corporation; Hotel and Restaurants Association of Baguio; Balili River System Revitalization Coalition; Mountain Rock Aggregates; Camp 6 Explorers Mining Association, Inc.; and the Baguio Water District and La Trinidad Water District.
Those recognized from the academe are the University of the Philippines-Baguio, Benguet State University, Saint Louis University, and Baguio City National High School.
Local officials, municipal environment and natural resources officers, and other individuals who have been supportive to the efforts in the management of the rivers were also recognized.
“It’s high time that we recognize those who work behind the scenes and those who have toiled extraordinary hours and who may not even receive a simple pat on the back. Now, allow us to bring you to the spotlight for uplifting environmental integrity,” Pablo said.
According to the EMB, the WQMA aims to protect, through stakeholders’ collaboration, water bodies and its tributaries by keeping its water quality within the water quality guidelines or criteria conforming to the water body’s classification or even improve the quality to higher classification.
In the Cordillera, the Balili, Bued, and Amburayan rivers were designated as WQMA areas to address the water quality issues and problems in the areas and result in the improvement or better water quality of the water bodies. – Redjie M. Cawis