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TigumAganan Watershed

A case study written by

Jessica Calfoforo Salas
Kahublagan sang Panimalay Foundation
Member, Iloilo Watershed Management Council

TigumAganan Watershed is located in Panay Island at the province of Iloilo, its upper watershed
touching the Antique province and merging with the forest ecosystem in this mountainous area.
Its downstream tip crosses the City of Iloilo and channels water to the Guimaras Strait.
The province of Iloilo occupies the southern and the north eastern portion of Panay Island. It is
bounded by the province of Capiz and Jintotolo channel in the north; Panay Gulf and Iloilo Strait
in the South, Visayan sea and Guimaras Strait in the east and the province of Antique in the west.
As of 2008, the province of Iloilo has a forest cover of 38,422.26 hectares or 8% of the province
land area with the natural forest of 1,032l.68 has comprising the residual forest (5,225 has),
virgin forest (7,016 has) and mossy forest of 3,790 hectares1 .
A total of 23 watersheds were identified as management units in the province. There were about
175 rivers and creeks traversing the entire province and these are sources of irrigation water and
water for domestic use.
As of 2007, the province has a total population of 1,718,878 with a population density of 363
persons/km2 and annual population grown rate of 1.13. Poverty incidence is 30.4%

Legal Basis for Environmental Protection

The Water Code of the Philippines of 1976 sets the national objectives and principles concerning
water resources of the country. The province recognizes the role, responsibilities and authority
of the National Water Resources Board which is mandated to regulate and control the utilization,
exploitation, development, conservation and protection of the countrys water resources. Other
environment and watershed-related laws implemented by the province are the Philippine
Environment Code of 1977, the Philippine Fisheries Code, the Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act and the Philippine Clean Water Act.

Data about the province were supplied by LGU PENRO, Iloilo.

The local government of the province of Iloilo based its actions for watershed protection
basically on Article 11 of the Constitution which maintains that the State shall protect and
advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accordance with the
rhythm and harmony of nature. The constitution provides for the promotion of social justice,
political and economic decision making; encourages administrative decentralization to
strengthen the autonomy of local government units and to accelerate the economic and social
growth and development therein.
The responsibility of the local government is expressed in Section 17 (Basic Services and
Facilities) of the Local Government Code of the Philippines in 1991, to wit:
Local government units shall endeavour to be self reliant and shall continue exercising
the power and discharging the duties and functions currently vested upon them. They
shall also discharge the functions and responsibilities of national agencies and offices
devolved to them pursuant to this Code. Local government units shall likewise exercise
such other powers and discharge such other functions and responsibilities as are
necessary appropriate, or incidental to efficient and effective provision of the basic
services and facilities, enumerated therein.
The Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21) expresses desire and deep mandate for sustainable
development -- an international commitment of the Philippine government. Aligned with the
Local Government Code of 1991, the Code directs and authorizes local governments to establish,
maintain, preserve, protect and conserve communal forest and watershed. To implement this,
Memorandum Order No. 399 in 1966 directs all government agencies, local government units to
realign plans/ policies/ progress with PA 21. Memorandum Order 47 of 1999 directs local
government units to formulate and implement their respective sustainable integrated
development plans. According to Agenda 21, development is sustainable when the following
conditions are present:

When communities stimulate local economy

When there is partnership among sectors: business, government and civil society
When development is anchored on natural systems.

In the province of Iloilo, initiatives to implement the above laws and regulations included the
creation of the Iloilo Watershed Management Council or IWMC through ordinance No. 2000 41,
on October 2, 2000. The Ordinance also empowers the IWMC to create watershed board or
multi-sector bodies that will look into the watershed management of an area where their
municipalities belong.

The Tigum-Aganan Watershed

The TigumAganan Watershed2 is one of the watersheds created by IWMC with a memorandum
of agreement signed by the 9 local government units and 9 representatives from other sectors.
It covers a total area of 297 km2 attributing 104 km2 to Aganan Watershed and 193 km2 to Tigum
Watershed. The public forest land covers 11, 250 hectares, alienable and disposable land is
18,250 ha. The whole watershed has a forest cover of 40 km2, brush land is 195 km2, rice
paddies, 17 km2 and other crops, 4 km2.

Figure 1 Map of Tigum-Aganan Watershed

The watershed divide straddles 8 municipalities and one city namely: Maasin, Cabatuan, Sta
Barbara, Pavia, Leon, Alimodian, San Miguel, Oton and Iloilo City. There is a total of 309
barangays inside the watershed as shown in Table 1.

The physical characteristics description of the watershed was taken from Study on sediment condition in the Jaro
and Iloilo river basins, DPWH, 2007.

Table 1. The barangays of TigumAganan Watershed3

Inside the
1. Maasin upland
2. Alimodian, upland
3. Leon, upland
4. Cabatuan, lowland
5. San Miguel, lowland
6. Sta. Barbara, lowland
7. Pavia, coastal
8. Oton, coastal
9. Iloilo City, coastal

outside the


Physical characteristics. The natural topographic condition of the Tigum-Aganan watershed

ranges from mountains to flood plains and coast. In terms of geological characteristics, the soil
originated from volcanic rocks of Panpanan Basalt and sedimentary rocks and rocks of
Sewaragon formation and Lagdo formation. These are found on mountaintop and upstream
reach. The eastern side is characterized by sandstone and shale. There were few cases of small
scale collapses on the upper reaches of the Aganan River side before Typhoon Frank in 2008.

Figure 2.Topography/Elevation Map4

Figure 3. Slope Map

CLUP of municipalities and a city in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed, 2004

Maps of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed used in Figures 2 to 5 were taken from the Rainwater Harvesting for
Climate Change Report of Kahublagan sang PanimalayFnd., 2008.

The watershed has two distinct seasons: dry from November to May and wet during the rest of
the year although occasional rain extends up to February. Maximum daily rainfall was recorded
at 319.8 while the mean annual temperature is 26.2C to 29.1C.
The Tigum-Aganan watershed has a total drainage area of 434 km2. The Tigum River and
Aganan River flows into Jaro River which is characterized with a poor base flow and
comparatively sharp flood peaks. Generally, land use may be described as follows: A
mountain environment or upland forest for municipalities of Maasin, Alimodian, and Leon;
lowland area for Cabatuan, Sta Barbara, San Miguel, Pavia and Oton; and coastal /sea
environment for Iloilo City and Oton. The watershed is divided into public land/ timber land of
17.5% and alienable and disposable land of 82.5%

Figure 4. Land use Map and Runoff Curve Number

Figure 5. River/Stream Structure

Water quality has been classified by EMB as generally Class C except in the upstream of the
Maasin watershed which is Class A. Sediment yield was estimated at 355 m3/ km2/ year and the
sedimentation rate is 2.26 ton/hectare/year as reported in 2002. The average flow capacity of
Tigum River is 500 m3/s while that of Aganan River is 400 m3/2. Jaro River has an average flow
from 150 m3/s to 400 m3/s. This situation has significantly changed after a plantation of exotic
species were established in 6000 has at the headwaters of Tigum River.
Structures constructed in the river are limited. After the confluence of Tigum and Aganan
Rivers, Jaro River is partially protected by revetments. The Metro Iloilo Water District has a
water intake facility for domestic water supply. The National Irrigation Administration has
intake facilities at Sta Barbara for the Tigum River and at San Miguel for Aganan River.
Degradation of the riverbed can be seen in the middle stream to downstream with some bridge
footings exposed above the river bed. These were caused by an imbalance of sedimentation

and quarrying. Quarrying is not properly regulated. River encroachments could be seen in river
banks in Iloilo City. There is also downstream pollution due to improper disposal of solid and
liquid wastes. Iloilo City (2003) has 111 tons/ day of self-disposed garbage.
The watershed population.Based on 2000 CLUP statistics, there is an estimated 247,400 people
living in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed.
The Upland.
The upland area is estimated to have 22,780 hectares with 98 barangays and a population of
47,662. There is a population of 3,994 indigenous people as recorded in the Office of Southern
Cultural Communities in Iloilo. The minority group has been identified as Bukidnon.
Farming is the major occupation of people in the upland. Households in Leon are engaged
mostly in vegetable farming while those in Alimodian, cultivated rice and vegetables. In
Maasin, bamboo is the major crop. Generally, monthly income is low as shown in the next
Table 2. Income Sources of selected upland barangays5
Estimated Value per Annum in P000,000
Popula Livestock
Fruit, Herbs
Fuel Wood
Forest Zone:
TrangkaMaasin; Dao 3610
Bobon and Bucari
Fuel Wood
Agro forest zone:
Sta Rita and
Bagsakan, Maasin;
Rice, fruit, veg Trading, hired
labour, others
Upland agriculture: 10,602





For the whole upland area, the estimated income from bamboo is P29.5 million while
intercropping gives a total earning of P32 million. Fuel wood and charcoal reaches a total
production of P3 million.

Salas J., the Socio-Economic Study of the Tigum-Aganan Watershed. Kahublagan sang PanimalayFnd., 2003.
Other socio-economic tables used in this case study were also taken from the same work.

As to health conditions, there are 5 hospitals in the area, 43 midwives and 13 doctors.
Common symptoms and illnesses reported are: coughing, fever, headache, diarrhoea and
rheumatism/arthritis. Remedies are a combination of herbal medicines and over-the-counter
drugs. There are 14 primary schools, 1 elementary school and 13 secondary schools in the
upland of Tigum-Aganan Watershed. The teacher-pupil ratio is for elementary level is 1/31
while for the secondary level is 1/35.
The Lowland
Most of the Tigum-Aganan watershed population are in the low land area, 114,289 or 44%.
Total households are 22,375 with an average household size of 5.1 and the land area is
15,708.47 hectares, giving a population density of 7 persons/ hectare. In the lowland, there
are 34 doctors and nurses and 77 midwives in the two hospitals and 6 rural health units.
However, these health service providers and facilities seem inadequate to address the health
needs of the lowland population. During the FGD for data gathering, findings show incurable
diseases mostly associated with lifestyle and diet as among the health concerns. The timeline
of epidemic occurrence shown in the socio-economic study of the watershed shows the
incidence of dengue haemorrhagic fever happening within the last 5 years in Cabatuan and
Oton. These and the cases of leptospirosis in the 90s up to 2003 were blamed by key
informants on the series of flooding incidents causing water stagnation. It should also be noted
that in 1980, cholera affected 50% of the households.
Educational facilities in the lowlands consisted of 13 primary schools, 60 elementary and 15
secondary public schools. The average teacher-student ratio was 1:30 for the elementary and
1:35 for the secondary levels.
Livelihood activities in the lowland come from farming, livestock, hired labour, trading, and
employment. Fifty per cent of those with college education preferred to work overseas and
many looked for work as domestic helpers. Total number of OFWs in the sample areas is
estimated to be 2.5% of the population.

Table 3. Livelihood and Income in the lowlands

Livelihood Activity
Estimated Value per
annum in Php
Farming, rice, vegetables and fruits
Hired labour (farm, carpentry)
Trading, sari sari store, cooperatives
Foreign employment

Average Household
Income / month

Urban/ Built-up Environment

The population in the built-up zone maybe classified as permanent residents and transients.
The permanent residents are those found in residential areas, subdivisions, slums and
relocation sites while the transients are those working in industries (construction etc.), schools
(students) and commercial establishments. Thirty two per cent of the watershed population
were located in the built-up zone and 61% of these are in Iloilo City and the rest in Pavia.
Despite the limited area in the watershed (9% only), the urban population of 82,689 is more
than that of the upland. Total number of households was 17,289 with an average size of 4.78.
This zone is the most densely populated area in the watershed at 23 persons/ ha.
Compared with other zones in the watershed, the urban area has better access to health
services and facilities. There are 11 hospitals and rural health units, there are 69 doctors and
nurses and 40 midwives. These numbers are 37%, 62% and 25% respectively of the total
number of health facilities in the whole watershed. There are 29 elementary schools, 5
secondary schools and 3 universities/colleges in the urban zone. The teacher-pupil ratio at the
elementary level is 1:31; andsecondary level is 1:36, the same as that of the other watershed
Most of the dwelling units in the area were made of semi-permanent materials and a
considerable number are of permanent structures. The Metro Iloilo Water District delivers
water through Level 1 connections to 57% of the urban population, the bottled mineral water
and refilling stations served as sources of potable water for households. This percentage,
however, dwindled to 10% to 20% after the Maasin Forest Reserve was reforested.
Table 4. Livelihood and Income in the urban/ built-up zonea
Livelihood Activity
Estimated Value per
annum in Php
Hired labor (factory and construction
Employment, local
Employment, foreign
Small business

Average Household
Income / month

Estimates were based on responses from FGD and did not include income from industrial and commercial and
other businesses.

The estimated income of the urban zone portion of the watershed amounted to P55 million or
an annual average income of P58,189 or a monthly average income of P4,849 for the
households. At the FGD, however, it was reported that no Class A or Class B participant was
present. Most participants came from the low income bracket and the working class. It should
be noted, however that only 22 barangays in the delineated watershed area are included.

The Coastal Area

The coastal area of the Tigum-Aganan watershed consisted of 3 barangays located along the
coast of Guimaras Strait in Iloilo City. The total population is 4,995 with 968 households. The
health situation in the coastal was comparable, if not worse, to that of the urban/built-up area.
Five leading morbidity causes reported are broncho-pneumonia, hypertension, tuberculosis,
typhoid fever, severe asthma and diarrhoea. Because of its proximity of the city, health
facilities and services in the coastal barangays were very limited. No government health service
providers are based in the coastal barangay except for community volunteers. Each barangay
has its own health stations but is visited by midwives at least once a month. Informants
reported that the factors contributing to the health problems in the area are: unsanitary
surroundings, lack of potable water supply, clogged drainage and inefficient or lack of garbage
disposal system. Presence of the Panay Power Plant in the area, at Barangay Ingore was
perceived by the residents to be the cause of respiratory-related problems of the people in the
vicinity of the plant.
Most of the population (40%) have some high school education, 26% have reached the tertiary
level and 15% have completed college while 5% have some vocational training. A total of 72
out-of-school youth were reported. There is one elementary school and one secondary school
in the area. It was reported that 73% of the houses in the area were made of light materials
and 7% have improvised salvaged/makeshift materials for their dwellings. The households get
their water from communal sources, 80% from deep wells, 44% from MIWD communal faucets.
Eighty one per cent have electricity and 19% only use kerosene lamp. Charcoal is the
predominant fuel used (88%) for cooking and lighting. More than half or 62% of the households
have sanitary toilet. However, in one barangay, 70% do not have toilets and human wastes are
disposed of in the river or the sea. Garbage collection trucks collect 42% of household trash
while 38% throw them in open pits.
Table 5. Livelihood and Income in the coastal area
Estimated Value per
annum in Php
Hired labor, crafts
Employment, local
Foreign employment

Average Household
Income / month

Major source of income in the coastal area is hired labor, followed by local employment and
trading. The socio-economic study reported the reasons why in this coastal area, fishing is not
a major source of income. The reasons were:


Absence/ loss of coral reefs.

River pollution reflecting the activities in the watershed
Loss of mangroves
Increased sedimentation and silt
Construction of fish pens along the coast
Inappropriate fishing methods used by commercial fishermen
Operation of Panay power plant

Integration: the upstream-downstream dynamics

Population density in the timberland is even higher than the upland area; 9.74 and 2.67
respectively. Population density in the urban built up is 37.6. The carrying capacity of the
watershed has not been determined. Water and soil, together with its flora and fauna,
comprise the natural capital of the watershed. The relationship of the inhabitants and their
communities comprise the social capital. Social capital is the extent by which people act as
support mechanism for each others welfare or quality of life including protection of the
ecosystem which supports everyones livelihood and well-being.
The socio-economic data from TigumAganan watershed shows a distinct inequity in terms of
income and delivery of social services. In health, for example, urban built up area has more
medical facilities and medical personnel than other areas. In infrastructures, electricity is
available more in the urban and coastal areas. In the education sector; schools, teachers and
other educational opportunities are found in the urban zone. Products from the upland and
lowland areas, although less fish from the coastal; are available in the city. However, the
upland produce suffers from competition with the imported goods in the city. With less
opportunities outside the city, the result is lower income for the upland communities. For the
upland communities, coping mechanisms for their poor living condition include getting into the
forest zones, using inappropriate and less expensive technologies in farming, timber poaching,
illegal squatting in public lands and these have negative impact on the environment bringing
problems to lowland communities such as flood, water pollution, siltation, increasing nutrient
load and destruction of fish habitat.
On the other hand, downstream communities appropriate more public funds for themselves to
cope with the negative impact of a degraded environment, since most decision makers are
from the downstream communities. It is easy to appropriate higher budget for infrastructures,
more education, more investment for external trades, more profitable businesses, and more
rich individuals. The result is not enough investment is made for the upland populations basic

Unknowingly, perhaps, these actions create unintended pressure on upstream communities in

terms of less attention, less budget for their own infrastructures, less access to social services,
resulting in low income. The upland conditions are seldom seen clearly by policy makers as
many of them have never been from the upland and could not imagine the upland situation.
Central decision making, low priority of upland programs and projects, lack of genuine
participation contribute to this iniquitous process. The cause of destruction and demise of the
fishing industry of TigumAganan, was hardly known or attributed to this iniquitous process. The
pollution and the two-kilometer silt which covered the fish habitat on the shorelines of Iloilo
City is a living testimony of a destroyed ecosystem and inattention to the problems of the
Tigum-Aganan Watershed.
The newest contributions to the erosion cascade from TigumAganan Watershed are the two
recent projects of the national government: the reforestation of Maasin Watershed and the
flood control projects. Opposition from professionals and aware citizens in the city were of no
The socio-economic dynamics described above created a pattern of vicious circle. Unless
development is seen in the perspective of the watershed, it is difficult to recognize the pattern
and the surreptitious impact on the degradation of the ecosystem.
Organizational Structures.Attempts to implement the watershed approach were initiated by
advocates in the government and in the civil society. The Iloilo Watershed Management
Council was created as the management unit for an integrated watershed management in the
province. The following are the members of the council:
Chairperson the governor of the province
Co-Chairperson Regional Executive Director of DENR
SanggunihanPanlalawigan Committee on Environment
League of Municipalities
NGO Kahublagan sang Panimalay Foundation
City of Iloilo
SanggunihanPanglungsod Committee on Environment, Iloilo City
Iloilo Business Club
Peoples organization, KAPAWA-Maasin
Supporting the Council is a Technical Working Group whose members came from agencies
helping the tasks of the IWMC. The following are members of the TWG:
Committee on Environment, SanggunihanPanlalawigan, Province of Iloilo; Provincial
Enironment and Natural Resources Office, (PENRO) LGU; Provincial Planning and
Development Office (PPDO); Office of the Provincial Agriculturist; League of

Municipalities; Cityof Iloilo; SP Committee on Environment, City of Iloilo; National

Irrigation Administration; Philippine Information Agency; Metro Iloilo Water District;
Department of Public Works and Highways; Department of Agrarian Reform; Philippine
National Police; Kahublagan sang PanimalayFnd.; KAPAWA-Maasin
The watershed management units created under the IWMC are as follows:

1. San Joaquin Watershed

2. Miag-ao Watershed
3. Guimbal Watershed
4. Sibalom-Baguingin Watershed
5. Tigum-Aganan Watershed
6. Alibunan Watershed
7. Ulian Watershed
8. MagapaSuage Watershed
9. Jaipaan-Jelicuon Watershed
10. Asisig-Lamunan Watershed
11. Maniniw-Abangay Watershed
12. Tambunac Watershed

13. Sigangaw Watershed

14. Jalaud Watershed
15. Anilao-Dangulaan Watershed
16. Alacaygan Watershed
17. Btac Viejo Watershed
18. BadbaranGerongan Watershed
19. Asue-Serruco-Lanjagan Watershed
20. Sibajao-Balantian-Binun-an Watershed
21. Carles Island
22. Estacia Islands
23. Concepcion Islands

Iloilo Watershed
Council (IWMC)
Working Group
River Boards/
Watershed mgt
Watershed Mgt

Barangay Info

Figure 6. Organization Chart of IWMC

One of these 23 watershed management units is the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Management

Board. The members of the Board are as follows:
Municipality of Maasin, Municipality of Alimodian. Municipality of Cabatuan,
Municipality of Sta Barbara, Municipality of Pavia, Municipality of Leon, Municipality of
San Miguel, Municipality of Oton, Iloilo City, Sta Barbara Irrigators Federation
Association, CENRO- DENR, DPWH, NIA, and Kahublagan sang PanimalayFnd., Metro
Iloilo Water District, Central Philippine University, Philippine Information Agency- Iloilo
province, Katilingban sang mgaPumuluyosa Watershed-Maasin

Summary of Issues and Recommendations

In 2003, and in 2006, separate assessments of the management of the Tigum-Aganan
Watershed were conducted. In 2009, a vulnerability study of the Maasin Watershed also
included a set of recommendations for the Tigum-Aganan Watershed. These 3 studies and a
review of the minutes of TAWMB meetings and its stakeholders assemblies were used as basis
for this summary of issues and recommendations.

The purpose of conducting the rehabilitation of the Maasin Watershed in 1992 was to secure
the source of drinking water for Iloilo City and the neighboring towns. The Feasibility Study
conducted in 1990 recommended for agroforestry and assisted natural regeneration (ANR) for
the denuded portion of the watershed. This recommendation, although approved by the
Regional Development Council VI, was overturned by a project design prepared by DENR
Central Office. After 5 years, what was implemented by both the national project and local
initiatives was a 3,000 hectare plantation of exotic species.
In 2004 a serious drying of the Tigum River happened. Every summer, since then, the drying of
the river happened and the Metro Iloilo Water District announced the reduction of its services
to only 10-20% of the population. Increase in erosion started seriously according to MIWD
reports. Various studies showed that the 3,000 hectares of plantation of exotic species in the
Maasin Watershed and the increasing bamboo plantation promoted by certain businessmen
were the causes of the destruction of the soil structure of the Forest Reserve at Maasin
Watershed. The Typhoon Frank in 2007 exacerbated the erosion problem. Efforts of TAWMB
to initiate change in the Maasin Watershed were all thwarted by the CENRO and DENR Region
VI. The national agency does not believe that the 3,000 hectare plantation of exotic species is
the cause of the decrease in stream flow especially during summer when there is a decreased
rainfall. The Typhoon Frank, which happened 3 years after the first drying episode, is blamed
by the regional office of DENR. A restoration of the Maasin Watershed is imperative for water

security of the people living in the watershed both for irrigation and domestic use. TAWMB
and IWMC called for the restoration of the Maasin Watershed.
The Vulnerability Assessment of Tigum-Aganan Watershed prepared by CSIRO recommended
the following:
1. Work with TAWMB to model the hydrological and sediment budgets for the
watershed under various climate and land management scenarios in order to inform
land use planning and implementation in the catchment. The modelling can help
inform where to vegetate to reduce erosion and where agriculture or plantation forestry






can best occur. It will also help the Metro Iloilo Water District and the Irrigation Association
plan for water supply management under variable conditions.
Work with TAWMB to develop better and common understanding of the effect of climate
change, El Nino conditions, and land management on river flow and aquifer recharge
Establish and resource a committee within the TAWMB to develop and oversee the
monitoring of recharges an d extraction of groundwater.
Work with the Metro Iloilo Water Department and the Governors office to develop plans
and policies for conservative supply and demand management in the face of climate change,
increased population, and limited infrastructure/resource base.
Develop low technology options for personal or community rainwater harvesting, with
tanks, impoundment in rice paddies or created wetlands, etc.
Model the recharge rates of groundwater under various climate scenarios and sustainable
extraction rates. Develop monitoring capacity to trigger reduced extraction, and policies to
manage demand.
Explore the potential to treat and recycle storm water and/or sewage for use in irrigated
agriculture in the lowlands, or to be injected into aquifers for recharge. There will be a need
to look at infrastructure and maintenance limitations, as well as seeking low technology
Develop comprehensive watershed management plans to vegetate protected areas with
suitable vegetation types.
Develop policy for providing for water allocations under variable climate conditions.
Increase the efficiency of irrigation, including water recycling and reticulation. Convert to
low water use crops.


According to the 2003 study, the four immediate causes of sedimentation were: inappropriate
farming practices, minimal forest cover, inadequate river protection and ineffective or nonexistent government program for soil and water protection. With regards to inadequate river
protection, two factors were identified. These were improper utilization of river easement and
indiscriminate quarrying. The Problem Tree instrument for analysis showed that there are

socio-economic root causes resulting into sedimentation problem. These are poverty,
inadequate information and poor governance.
The 2003 recommendations were: (a) IWMC to urge the Department of Agriculture to review
impact of modern agricultural practices and inform farmers its results in order to promote
sustainable farming. (b) IWMC to promote implementation of the watershed approach through
integration of the services of DENR, DA, DAR, NIA, DPWH at the local government units level (c)
effective information campaign at the watershed. As to these recommendations, DA-DENRDAR convergence program is promoting the watershed approach nationwide but is not
implemented by these agencies in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed. The information campaign
arm of the watershed, The Ugat sang Tubig: school on air which started in 1997 was stopped in
2010 due to lack of fund support. IWMC and Kahublagan sang Panimalay Foundation
implemented rainwater harvesting projects from 2007 to 2010 to respond to these
recommendations. The TAWMB Watershed Management Plan included these
recommendations and implemented by active member municipalities.
The 2009 recommendations of CSIRO is to work with the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources and the Metro Iloilo Water Department to develop low technology options
for de-silting water in-stream before water take off, e.g. creating roughness in-stream through
woody debris or manufactured structures. This recommendation is not yet included by the
TAWMB in its Watershed Plan as the planning process was delayed by the entry of the
Canadian Urban Institute as the new technical partner of TAWMB in 2010.
The CSIRO assessment recommended the following:
1. Improve the monitoring and forecasting of droughts and floods, and establish action
plans with dedicated resourcing for their implementation.
2. Develop early community warning system based on medium to long range weather
forecasts of impending storm events. Work with upland communities to identify risk
zones for houses, infrastructure, and agriculture, and develop affordable options for
mitigation or adaptation.
3. Develop and implement early warning system for flash floods in the uplands. Have
mutual technological and networked human based options. The technological option
should be low tech, easily maintained, and physically robust; possibly based on mobile
phone technology or mountain radio technology. Municipalities to have adequate
response policies, including 24 hour monitoring, networked warning of communities,
community response strategies, etc.
4. Build capacity of Iloilo City and Municipalities to plan for and regulate land use in the
face of climate change, known hazards, and population growth. Ensure adequate
governance. Develop relationship between planning departments of major and minor

cities in Australia, involving opportunities for exchange of staff both ways. Establish
relationship between planning departments in Australian universities and local
universities for training, research, curriculum development, etc.
5. Replant mangroves to reduce storm damage to coastal areas, but also to improve
fisheries and sediment trapping. Use this process as a direct and indirect livelihoods
enhancement program.
6. Examine the options for floodwater diversion or storage in wetland systems in
surrounding municipalities to reduce peak flow at Iloilo City and to recharge aquifers.

The socio-economic issues highlighted in the 2003 study and reinforced by other studies, were
poverty and inadequate delivery of basic services. The problem of creeping population density
that threatens the fragile mountain and river ecosystems were not adequately addressed.
Delivery of basic services was also tainted by corrupt practices. The recommendation in the
2003 study includes: (a) DPWH to determine the bio-physical carrying capacity of the upland
and other vulnerable zones in order to guide its installation of infrastructures for development
(b) LGU to support watershed approach to planning starting from the barangay level (c)
Relevant national agencies worked hand in hand with IWMC and supported its initiatives in the
Tigum-Aganan Watershed. The second recommendation was started in 5 active municipalitymembers of TAWMB. With the change of administration, however, there were fears that the
initiative was not continued and especially that the TAWMB planning process was delayed, as
already mentioned. For the last two years, the TAWMB does not have a Watershed
Management Plan due to other reports being required by its partner. While there is willingness
for national agencies to assist IWMC, they are limited by budgetary priorities at the agency
The members of the Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) organization which is the
KAPAWA-Maasin or the Katilingban sang mgaPumuluyosaMaasin Watershed, were not allowed
to cut the trees planted in the reforested area but are allowed to harvest fruits in their
agroforestry area where fruit trees were planted. They were also allowed to plant bamboo,
coffee, pepper, and rattan in between the trees for their livelihood. In mid-2000, a
businessman put up a bamboo processing plant in the municipality of Maasin and this
encouraged farmers to plant more bamboos inside the Maasin Reserved Forest. A picture
taken in 2007 (Figure 7) shows the extent of bamboos in the area. According to a soil scientist
in the Bureau of Soils, a massive bamboo plantation destroys the fertility of the soil and its
capacity to hold water.

Figure 7.An aerial picture of a portion of the Maasin Forest Reserve showing extensive bamboo
plantation. The dark green hue areas are the exotic tree plantations.

The 2009 CSIRO Vulnerability study has specific recommendations for livelihood options.
1. Implement farmer collectives in conjunction with the municipalities to work together to
understand and address the environmental and economic challenges facing agriculture
in thewatershed. Facilitators experienced in community engagement and sustainable
agriculture should be employed for this purpose. One of the most important initial
topics for discussion would be the use of terrace farming in the uplands of Alimodian,
Leon and Cabatuan municipalities to reduce erosion and increase productivity. The
collectives could also engage in experimenting with dry season crops, water
conservation, etc. Involve the local Universities in research and learning associated with
2. Establish a relationship between Alimodian Municipality and the Biological Farmers of
Australia (www.bfa.com.au) to develop improved and profitable organic farming
practices. Encourage and facilitate organic farmers to establish co-operatives for
producing and marketing produce. Involve the local Universities in research and
teaching associated with profitable organic farming.
3. Explore the development of ecotourism (including the possibilities and pitfalls), cultural
tourism, and/or community/volunteer tourism with upland and/or indigenous
communities. Explore the marketing of arts, crafts, produce or tourism to a wider
audience through novel means, e.g. the internet. Explore other livelihoods options
with communities.
4. Improve planning capacity to protect valuable farmland and implement appropriate
development for population growth and/or urban expansion in surrounding


The local governments mandate to protect and enhance the welfare of its constituents is the
rational key element in ecological governance. The LGUs influence on political units inside the
watershed municipalities, cities and barangays carries the responsibility for ecological
protection for the welfare of its citizenry. A wasted or a devastated natural resource is not an
asset for the citizens to build on their livelihood and quality life. This huge responsibility carries
an accountability to the population. The 2003 recommendation is for the LGUs to support and
continue effective education and information programs through the barangay information
There were specific recommendations made such as:
1. Membership of the Iloilo City LGU in the provincial IWMC. Iloilo City is a permanent
member/ a signatory to the MOA of the TAWMB.
2. Drafting of implementing directives/ executive order regarding representation of
members in the Council
3. That the chair and co-chair should be occupied by either an LGU or NGO representative
or that 25% of the membership of the council and river boards should come from the
civil society.
4. Membership of TAWMB to include LGU Oton, Aganan Federation of Irrigators
Association, Pavia Business Club, Women of the Watershed, Garden Club, Quarry
Association, Rotary Club and ICUPAO. The TAWMB can create a list of Stakeholders
Assembly and expand the list further.
5. The TAWMB Board to meet on quarterly basis and may call special meetings as
6. The membership of the TWG of TAWMB shall be defined; its chairperson shall sit as exofficio member of the Board. The TWG shall act as the Secretariat of the Board and shall
set up an office at the PENRO or PPDO of the province.
7. Compensation and remuneration should be defined.
8. Funding of the operation of TAWMB should be provided for by the LGU members.
The 2006 organizational study recommended that the TAWMB shall focus on coordination of
the Watershed Management Plan, monitoring and evaluating it, and preparing resolutions from
the evaluation feedback to guide member town in the conduct of their municipal watershed
councils. The TAWMB shall also take charge of the information-education campaign through
the BICs in the watershed. As part of its monitoring function, TAWMB can device and use score
cards. From these feedbacks, TAWMB may recommend policies to the IWMC. Strategic
planning sessions should include upstream-downstream issues identification and resolutions.
Resource mobilization and resource management should take into account other community
capital assets; not just focus on financial assets. Transfer or exchange of assets between
upstream and downstream communities should be encouraged even at the micro-level.