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The Philippines will celebrate this year’s World Water Day (WWD) with a focus on the vital role of water in achieving sustainable development.

A series of activities leading up to the WWD 2015 on March 22 is planned by organizers led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This year’s theme, “Water and Sustainable Development,” seeks to emphasize the importance of water in relation to health, ecosystems, urbanization, industrial processes, energy, food and equality.

The annual celebration kicks off with the 2015 Water and Sustainable Awards, which will recognize “water champions” consisting of organizations and individuals who are helping out their communities in addressing water issues and promoting sustainable development. It is co-presented by the DENR and water concessionaire Maynilad and will be held today at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Diliman, Quezon City.

For March 17, the Laguna Lake Development Authority will hold a tour of Lake Pandin in San Pablo; the DENR-Region 3 will conduct simultaneous river cleanup in the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan and Bataan, as well as portions of the Manila Bay; and the DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) and Manila Water will begin a two-day lecture series on the importance of water.

Employees of the local governments of Kawit and Noveleta towns in Cavite will join the DENR and Maynilad in a two-day tree planting activity under the “Plant for Life: Save Bacoor-Cañaco-Manila Bay” program, starting March 17.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will hold a symposium on “Water Security towards Sustainable Development” in Quezon City on March 18.

Three activities are lined up for March 19. These are the water education seminar for elementary and high school teachers to be held at the Air Quality Management Training Center of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB); the “Scubasurero” underwater cleanup activity in Masinloc, Zambales, organized by the DENR-Region 3; and a roundtable discussion on possible amendments to the Water Code of the Philippines arranged by the National Water Resources Board and the Philippine Water Partnership.

Other activities are as follows:

March 19-20: DENR-NCR and Maynilad will hold interactive educational activities under the “WWD 2015 Daloy Dunong: Water Education Drive” for elementary pupils in the cities of Muntinlupa and Manila. The Local Water Utilities Administration will also conduct the two-day Buhay KYUT (health, hygiene and water conservation) program in Iloilo City.

March 22: The EMB and the River Basin Control Office will be joined by various local government units in a river cleanup in Malabon City. The WWD 2015 Run for Water and Sustainable Development, sponsored by Maynilad, will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City.

March 23 and 26: The ERDB and the Department of Education will lead the National Conference on Climate Change and Water Safety for Health, and the “Gising Diwa: Likas Kayang Gamit ng Yamang Tubig” for participants from Laguna, and Tayabas and Pagbilao towns in Quezon.

March 25-27: Water Philippines 2015 Expo and Conference and the Pipes and Tubing Philippines 2015 Expo, both sponsored by UBM Water Philippines, will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

WWD was first celebrated in 1993 when the United Nations declared March 22 of every year as World Day for Water. In the Philippines, the celebration lasts for at least one week by virtue of Executive Order No. 258 issued in 1996, adopting the Philippine Water Week. #

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