CAGAYAN de Oro City--A councilor in this city wants residents to pay for the maintenance of Cagayan de Oro’s watershed in Bukidnon, the Mt. Kalatungan range.
In a special report Monday before his colleagues during their weekly session, Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya said it must be the responsibility of each Kagay-anon to shoulder the maintenance of the city’s watershed because this protects us from flooding downstream.
Nacaya pointed out that Cagayan de Oro’s geographical location as a lowland coast is precarious to flooding as proven in the past during tropical storm Sendong and typhoons Pablo and Vinta.
With this, the councilor said it is essential for the constant reforestation of Mt. Kalatungan which is located in Bukidnon.
Nacaya is mulling for the City Council to create an ordinance that each resident in the city must shoulder a so-called payment for ecosystem by embedding it in water rates collected by the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD).
Nacaya estimated that a fee of 25 centavos per cubic meter is reasonable enough but emphasized that his proposal must undergo a thorough study by the City Council and its committees with inputs from various experts.
The proposal for a payment for the ecosystem was endorsed to Nacaya by a coalition of civic organizations in the city led by former Opol, Misamis Oriental Mayor Dixon Yasay.
According to Yasay, the payment for ecosystem concept is an emerging financial tool or environmental conservation where residents pay for the source of their watershed.
As of 2018, no local government in the country yet has institutionalized such legislation.
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