(May 3, 2012) Mayor Lina O. Montilla was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2nd run of the Temasek Foundation Water Leadership Programme on April 23-May 4 at the National University of Singapore.
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The two-week Executive Programme was structured by the Temasek Foundation, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and Public Utilities Board, Singapore’s national water agency.
These organizing institutions selected distinguished teams of academics and policymakers from all over Asia who would benefit from the programme, who are committed in devising innovative thinking to address a critical health sustainability issue that is currently hampering Asia’s progress: “the growing water and sanitation needs of 3.7 billion people.”
Having passed a couple of assessments and interviews, Mayor Montilla, together with the other members of the Philippine Team obtained full tuition expenses and hotel accommodation from the programme. Lunch, tea breaks and transportation were also provided for them.
The Philippine Team was composed of the following personalities:
1.       HON. LINA O. MONTILLA, City Mayor of Tacurong City
2.      Engr. Arn B. Gellangarin, GM, GSC Water District
3.      Engr. Andresito J. Degilla, GM, Polomolok Water District
4.      Prof. Faustino Jerome Babate from General Santos City
5.      Prof. Ma. Adela A. Fiesta from Cotabato City
6.      Mr. Ferdinand Ferrer, Division Mngr., GSC Water District
Other countries also eligible for the scholarship were Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and China.
The programme was designed for water leaders coming from Asia where increasing water and sanitation demands are currently becoming a challenge. To abet these leaders, the programme exposed them to the best practices in water utilities governance, practical guidance on managing water utilities effectively, and potential strategies to deal with existing and future challenges in their respective countries and localities.
For a convenient and effective learning, the programme was conducted in a state-of-the-art classroom setting with the use of a combination of lectures, case studies and panel discussions among practitioners. The teams also had the opportunity to go on site visits, which immersed them in the real scenario on how Singapore has dealt with challenges on its water resource management. 

Mayor Montilla, along with the other members of the Philippine team, is expected to come home with advanced and improved knowledge on water resource management that would benefit not just the local government of Tacurong but the entire country as a whole. (Jessa Billano)