A working group focusing on the protection of the Asik-Asik Falls in North Cotabato was created February 20, 2020 in Davao City.
The Alamada Watershed Council is comprised of the local government unit of Alamada led by Mayor Jesus Sacdalan, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Mindanao River Basin Council.
According to MinDA Chairman Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the council aims to come up with interventions that will benefit the people.
“In every development done for the Asik-Asik Waterfalls, the communities around it should be involved in every step of the way,” he added.
Some of the initial action items identified by the council include an inventory and profiling of the actual occupants living in the vicinity of the falls.
Previous environmental management plans will be revisited which will serve as a basis in forming a comprehensive watershed development plan specifically for the Asik-Asik waterfalls and its surrounding communities.
The DENR will spearhead reforestation efforts in denuded areas through the National Greening Program wherein cash crops will be prioritized to integrate livelihood opportunities.
Concerns on land tenure will be under the supervision of DAR while FPE and MinDA will be providing technical assistance for social preparation activities as well as sourcing of funds and other assistance needed by the council.
An executive order will be issued to formalize the creation of the council according to Mayor Sacdalan.
The Asik-Asik Falls is known for its water which gushes out of the sides of a cliff which showers to the headwaters of Libungan River in Cotabato and then flows down to the vast Liguasan Marsh. It was also featured in the first episode of My Mindanao, an online web series by MinDA that promotes the beauty and bounty of the island-region. (MinDA)