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Cebu City to work with Dutch city on water projects

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Government will be cooperating with sister-city Haarlemmermeer in The Netherlands to improve Cebu’s water and waste management program as the two cities celebrate 25 years of sisterhood.

“We are actively engaging with our sister cities abroad and other international institutions in advancing climate action especially in water and waste management program,” said Alvin Dizon, the mayor’s representative in the Sister City Commission.

To celebrate the 25th year of sister-city relations between the two cities, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña traveled to the City of Haarlemmermeer in The Netherlands on June 6, together with Councilors Margarita “Margot” Osmeña, Nendell Hanz Abella, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head Nagiel Bañacia, Department of Social Services head Lea Japson, and Alvin Dizon.

The purpose of the visit is to strengthen linkages and create projects for emergency purposes, health, technological advancements, and environment, among others.

“Haarlemmermeer has been so good to us. They’ve given us so much importance. They are not even a big city but they have been so helpful to us,” Osmeña had earlier told The FREEMAN.

According to Dizon’s Facebook post, the Cebu City delegation met with Dutch experts and the Board of Vriendschapband Haarlemmermeer Cebu (VHC) on June 10 to explore possibilities for future cooperation in water quality measuring with underwater drones, flood management, low cost waste water treatment, and plastic waste management.

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“Today, as we observe unprecedented changes in the climate system caused by greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and other human activities, it is both urgent and critical for Cebu to take apt action,” said Dizon in an interview.

Present for the June 10 meeting were Rick Heikoop from Rotterdam University and Floris Boogaard from Hanze University, both experts on water urban drainage, urban water quality, and storm water management.

Dizon said Cebu City will be drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Haarlemmermeer’s Hanze University and Rotterdam University for the proposed cooperation on the water management project.

“The MOU is yet to be drafted but the city and our Dutch counterparts already agreed in a principle to cooperate [with] each other,” Dizon added.

Dizon said Cebu City will also tap the support of other stakeholders like the University of San Carlos and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. for this program. —/JBB (FREEMAN)

 

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