The Operations and Coordination Unit (OCU) of the Nueva Vizcaya Watershed Management Committee (NVWMC) became a full-fledged special body under the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya (PGNV) by virtue of Executive Order No. 145-s2022 (EO145) signed by Governor Carlos M. Padilla on July 06, 2022.
The OCU was originally a mere task force simultaneously functioning as a Technical Working Group and Secretariat in support of the NVWMC which was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 86-s2019 (EO86) issued by Governor Padilla on November 18, 2019. This support group was then headed by the DENR’s Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Nueva Vizcaya, the Vice Chairperson of the NVWMC. Some of the PENRO’s staff were engaged to perform the said tasks on top of their regular functions.
To fast track the realization of the NVWMC’s mandate, an attached group, called OCU, was organized on September 01, 2021. The Governor assigned For. Henry P. Patricio, his Executive Assistant for ENR, to lead it, along with For. Fernando S. Agraan, EMS-I of the PENARO, and some contractual staff. On authority of the Governor, the group, together with the staff of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), occupied the space vacated by the PAIAD.
The recently issued EO145 mandates the OCU to provide assistance in the coordination and linkage functions of the NVWMC and its members as identified under EO86 and ensure the coordination of relevant programs, projects, and activities being implemented in the province for the sustainable conservation, management, and development of its watersheds.
The duly delineated and more specific duties and functions of the OCU are undertaken by the staff of its extant Watershed Management, Geographical Information System (GIS), and Administrative and Information Management Units, under the direct supervision of For. Patricio, the incumbent OCU Head, and overall guidance of the more authoritative NVWMC.
During its one year existence the OCU had led the preparation of a Five-Year Nueva Vizcaya Watershed Strategic Management Plan. This document, which will be reviewed and updated every three years, contains basic information about the condition of the Nueva Vizcaya Watersheds, and the list of needed actions that can be translated into programs, projects, and activities that are also elaborated by the goals and objectives of the NVWMC as outlined in its Manual of Operations (MoO).
The OCU has also been continuously providing the needed technical and administrative support to the ongoing processing of the LMET Park’s Environment Compliance Certificate, and the other policy and development thrusts of the NVWMC.
The creation of the NVWMC and the OCU is backed by seven legal bases, namely: R.A. No. 7160 or “The Local Government Code of 1991”; 2018 Nueva Vizcaya Water Summit Resolutions; Provincial Ordinance No. 2014-108 or “The Environment Code of Nueva Vizcaya”; “PRAYERS N FAITH” development agenda of the PGNV; 2001-2003 Framework Plan of Region 02 declaring Nueva Vizcaya as “Watershed Haven and Agroforestry Hub”; Presidential Decree No. 705 which considers the watersheds of Nueva Vizcaya as “Critical Watersheds”; and EO86 that created the Nueva Vizcaya Watershed Management Committee (NVWMC).
EO145 also mandates the PGNV to appropriate funds as part of its annual budget for the implementation of the programs, projects, and activities of the NVWMC and its adjunct OCU. #mba