(L-R) Hon.Benguet Provincial board Member and Environment Committee Chairperson Nestor Fongwan, Jr.; EMB-CAR Regional Dir. Reynaldo Digamo; PhilAm Fund Chief of Party Mr. Eugenio Gonzales; and, JVOFI Chairman, Mr. Ray Dean Salvosa sign the Memorandum of Agreement

“Today, we will just end a chapter of the story but the next day we will have to open a new chapter.” A take away statement Dir. Reynaldo Digamo of the Environment Management Bureau – Cordillera Administrative Region (EMB-CAR) mentioned during the Sustainability Memorandum of Agreement entered on the 27th of June 2017. This was signed by the governors of the Provincial Local Government Units of Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur, Regional Directors of EMB-CAR, EMB-Region 1, Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) CAR and Region 1.

Seventy nine project partners witnessed and continued to show their support with the project’s on going goal—protecting and defending the Amburayan River. It was indeed well voiced that great responsibility comes in with the memorandum that was signed. As stated by Mr. Eugenio Gonzales, Chief of Party, USAID PhilAm Fund, the memorandum is not just an ideal but a necessity.

With the project’s end, everyone expressed their gratitude—thanking each and every one for their support and zeal. As mentioned by Hon. Crescendo C. Pacalso, Governor of Benguet, “This project would not be a success without the cooperation of the people implementing and believing in the project. We are here because we have committed and accepted the big challenge in front of us by protecting, defending, preserving, conserving and improving the water quality of the Amburayan River System.”

In addition, the activity also aimed to inform the project stakeholders of the Best Practices and Lessons Learned shared by the partners as basis for actions and decisions in formulating plans and programs that will support environment-related activities.

“We will need champions to continue the good work that has been done by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc. With that, I hope we will all rise up to that challenge of continuing the governance of the survival of not only this watershed but also our own survival,” Mr. Gonzales said in his message.

Protecting and Defending the Amburayan River Basin and Watershed through Good Governance and Active Peoples’ Participation is a project funded by the USAID through the Gerry Roxas Foundation (GRF) and is implemented by the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Inc.  (JVOFI)