Israel, Netherlands embassies working with Salceda

December 16, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 364 views

Tackling PH’s water woes, regulation

HOUSE Committee on Ways and Means Chairman and Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda has announced that his office is working with the embassies of the State of Israel and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to address issues in the country’s water sector.

Salceda is the chair of the technical working group (TWG) that is crafting the House’s bill, creating a Department of Water Resources (DWR).

He relayed that the Israeli ambassador, Ilan Fluss, expressed his “enthusiasm for your interest in Israel’s technology and innovation” in the water sector.

The ambassador also offered to collaborate with Salceda on water issues and invited the House leader to a study tour in Israel on the matter.

Salceda said he is also communicating with the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the matter.

“These two countries are the best partners to learn from. One had too little water and is now an agriculture giant in the Middle East. The other is in an existential battle against too much water, and is now the world’s most important source of water management technology. They handled the extremes. So, they would have the best insights into both a lack of water and an excess of it,” Salceda said.

Salceda said he also aims to generate investments in the water sector from these countries.

“I also hope to invite technical experts, encourage the hiring of their experts so we can do knowledge transfer, and bundle our partnership into some big multi-year package with our multilateral partners,” Salceda said.

‘New vision for water regulation’

Salceda, who assigned the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to gather the Executive agencies and come up with (Marcos Jr.) administration version of the SONA (State of the Nation Address) priority, said that the House will study water regulation throughout the break.

Salceda expressed hopes that the Executive and the House “can come up with a new, coherent, and complete vision for the water sector.”

“Generally, we want to mimic the way the energy sector’s aspects are regulated. A NEA equivalent for missionary water access. A Transco for water transmission. A NAPOCOR (National Power Corporation) for water generation. And an ERC to regulate water tariffs,” Salceda said.

Salceda added that he wants to ensure “that when you want to build a dam, you know where to go. When you want to build a water or sewerage pipeline, you know where to go. Unlike now, when regulation is extremely disjointed.”

The point, Salceda said, “is you want an apex body that gathers the water regulatory agencies as one family that talks to each other.”

Salceda said that hearings will resume “as soon as Congress reconvenes.”