DENR: PH addressing water crisis

March 28, 2023 People's Journal 143 views

ENVIRONMENT and Natural Resources Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga has assured the United Nations that the Philippine government is proactively addressing the looming water crisis brought about by climate change.

At the United Nations 2023 Water Conference held in New York on March 22-24, Loyzaga cited the measures being implemented by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., together with the legislative branch and concerned government agencies, in meeting challenges, specifically the dwindling water supply, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

She noted that among the directions being taken is the creation of a Water Resource Management Office (WRMO) under the DENR, a first in the country’s history, “to achieve water security by integrating the functions of all agencies with water-related mandates.”

The WRMO is aligned with new legislation, creating an apex body for comprehensive water resource management that will adopt an all-hazards and risk-informed integrated water resource management approach.

Loyzaga said achieving adequate and equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services is at the core of sustainable development.

“All the plans and programs of the government to provide universal access to safe, sufficient, affordable, and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and hygiene will be completed by 2030,” she said.

She added that an integrated water management approach also ensures that local government units’ water-related policies and actions are all aligned with the Philippine Development Plan.

“We are establishing the national geospatial database for natural resources, including water, in order to achieve cross-cutting development goals, de-risked investments, and improve the water resource management down to the community level. It underpins our natural capital accounting programs and establishes the physical bases of the design of water-related social and infrastructure programs, which aim to ensure that no ecosystem or community is left behind,” Loyzaga explained.

With an average of 20 typhoons entering the country each year, bringing torrential rains and flooding that cause waterborne diseases, the Philippines currently ranks fourth among the countries in the world most affected by water-related disasters. Philippine News Agency