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Water resources dep’t creation pushed

April 2, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 407 views

A neophyte solon renewed his call for the urgent passage of a measure creating a Department of Water Resources Management (DWRM), as the country braces for the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert Lee has a pending House Bill No. 2880, which is among a number of bills seeking to create a Department which will consolidate all agencies concerning water resources.

In his proposal, among the tasks of the DWRM are to implement necessary policy and resource reforms with respect to the management of all water resources including irrigation, sewage, and sanitation; monitor and evaluate compliance with the national goals relating to water, irrigation, sewage, and sanitation; formulate a national updated road map to address the water, sewage, and sanitation requirements of the State; and improve conservation of water and increase system efficiencies.

This measure is in line with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s pronouncement on his administration’s “overall plan” to improve the country’s water resources management.

Lee reiterated the need for the government to urgently roll out mechanisms and infrastructures to help agricultural workers amid the looming water crisis.

“Even without El Niño, many of our farmers already suffer from the effects of water shortage. May mga magsasaka po tayo na matagal nang nagtitiis at pinoproblema ang pagkakaroon ng maayos na irigasyon. Ngayong tag-init, marami sa mga sakahan ang natutuyot, na malaking kabawasan sa kanilang produksyon,” the solon said.

“Sa pagsasaayos sa pangangasiwa ng tubig, mas maitataguyod ang kalusugan ng mamamayan sa pagkakaroon ng access sa malinis na inumin, makakaiwas sa malaking pinsalang maaaring idulot ng bagyo, malawakang pagbaha at tagtuyot, at mas maisusulong ang food security kung saan Winner Tayo Lahat,” Lee added.

If passed into law, two billion pesos shall be set aside from any available funds for the organization of the DWRM and its initial operations.

Thereafter, funds to carry out the powers and functions of the Department shall be appropriated in the General Appropriations Act.