Through the initiative of newly-elected PAWD Chair Renato Mercado and President Alma Abrasaldo, a Strategic Planning Workshop was conducted last March 9-10, 2016 at the Be Resorts, Mactan, Cebu.
Members of the Board of Governors (BOG) and Executive Council (Execom) with the PAWD Office staff took part in the two-day event which aimed to determine the organization’s future direction and possible avenues through which it can pursue particular courses of action.
The participants were able to identify the urgencies in the current external environment of the association and its member-water districts.
One of the urgencies identified are the issues with government agencies such as the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Commission on Audit (COA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Hence, the officers agreed that the best strategy to resolve such issues is to establish continuous communication and coordination with concerned agencies.
Another urgency identified is the lack of information on experiences, existing models involving Public-Private Partnerships and bulk water partnerships to which the participants concurred that there is a need to disseminate information and participate in various fora on the matter.
The expiration of current PAWD partners on climate change and watershed protection is another urgency identified by the participants. Thus, there is a need to explore potential partners in order to continue said advocacies.
Bills pending in the Congress that affect water districts is the last urgency the group identified to which the strategy is to have continuous monitoring.
The group then identified two major tasks/steps which needs to be done as soon as possible which are (1) to appoint General Managers, through the Regional Association Presidents, who are able to assist PAWD in executing various strategies, and (2) to create committees composed of senior officers to attend meetings/fora in NEDA, PPP, PWP, USAID Be Secure, NSSMP, among others.
Finally, the PAWD officials also identified the core challenges that the association could encounter two years from now. These are (1) lingering issues with LWUA, COA, DPWH, NWRB, DBM and the addition of the Department of Health, (2) climate change, and (3) water security.
Also part of the Strategic Planning program is a briefing on the history of PAWD for the newly appointed members of the BOG and Execom. The briefing, led by Governor Arturo Villasan, gave perspective to the new officers on how the association operates. Furthermore, the accomplishments by the previous administrations were also reported as well as the current issues that the organization is facing.(By Karlo Abarquez)