Over the last couple of months, newly elected Mayors in the Philippines have been collecting citizen perspectives on the development of their cities. Vice-Mayor Angel Cruz, Hagonoy municipality, Bulacan, The Philippines, presented his findings during the workshop on Groundwater at the International Amsterdam Water Week. Groundwater is no longer a sustainable source for water, because of pollution and land subsidence which in turn leads to flooding. A series of solutions for the future were discussed during the workshop, which all require a strong collaboration between government levels, including water districts, private sector innovations and the citizens. Are the inhabitants willing to pay more for their water in the future? What are the costs? What are alternative solutions? While at national level strategies are formulated within the context of the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan, municipalities and cities now have a chance to review their Comprehensive Land Use Plans. Or maybe better: Comprehensive Land Use and Water Management Plans as the Mayor proposed. The Mayor was in The Netherlands on the invitation of the DEALS programme to contribute to the planning and search for collaboration amongst stakeholders.
After the workshop, a similar session took place looking into the waste management at local level and the need for composting solutions for organic waste. For both the water and the waste issues, the DEALS programme supports intergovernmental cooperation agreements searching for scale benefits.