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Watershed Management Youth Council (WMYC)

Creating Change Through: Davao City Youth Working Towards Saving Davao’s Last Water Source

When the members of the Watershed Management Youth Council (WMYC) learned that the natural course of the Tamugan-Panigan River in Davao is threatened with plans for the construction of a Hydroelectric Powerplant, they were very much alarmed. The information came to them as they already knew of a study projecting the demand for water in 2011 will equal supply and that the only other viable source of potabe water is the threatened Tamugan-Panigan River.

Migrio Vina Cagampang joined other youth representatives and championed her cause during the TAYO Week last December 2010. She explained the efforts of WMYC in preventing “a looming water crisis” is also inspired by lines form a Cree Indian Prophecy:

Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

What’s the Story?

In 2007, WMYC took a stand in their hopes to protect the water supply of all 1.8 million Davaoeños. The said youth organization launched an information and education campaign advocating the Watershed Code – a city ordinance geared at protecting and preserving the watershed areas in Davao City.

Under the umbrella project called Davao City Youth Working Towards Saving Davao’s Last Water Source, they conducted school-to-school campaigns and barangay forums appealing for support from their fellow youth and Sangguniang Kabataan councils. They also lobbied their cause to local legislators through a 6- week silent protest and carried out a signature campaign garnering 40,700 signatures.

Perseverance and unfailing hope paid off as WMYC managed to convince Davaoeños to maintain the Tamugan-Panigan River strictly as a source of drinking. Their actions also lead to the protection of the flow of the Talomo River which recharges the Dumoy Aquifer- the present source of Davao City’s water.

Recognition and Success

In 2010, two years after WMYC’s crusade began, the City Council of Davao declared that the purposes of potable water will be prioritized in the case of the Tamugan-Panigan River, as opposed to making way for power-generation activities. Such a triumph is one that only bold ones like members of the Watershed Management Youth Council can claim.

Displaying the no less than the TAYO spirit of youth involvement and volunteerism, WMYV continues on with the information, education campaign in order to educate more youth as well as monitors the implementation of the Watershed Code to “ensure water sustainability for the present and future generation.”

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