Creation of single water agency pushed

March 23, 2019

Former presidential adviser for political affairs Francis Tolentino yesterday reiterated his call for the immediate creation of a single water agency that will address the current water shortage that may be made worse by an El Niño situation in the coming months.

Tolentino said  the country  will suffer from severe water crisis unless government acts fast to address the impending situation.

“Kung matatandaan po ng ating mga kababayan, ako po ang unang bumoses sa paparating na krisis sa tubig at sa paghagupit ng El Niño.  Matagal ko na pong iminumungkahi ang pagtata–tag ng Department of Water Resources Management na magiging punong ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan para sa pangangasiwa at pangangalaga sa tubig sa bansa at maging sa pagharap sa mga krisis sa tubig  gaya ng nararanasan ngayon hindi lamang sa Kamaynilaan kungdi maging sa ibang bahagi ng bansa,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino pointed out that the proposed  department will be tasked to address water issues, including the tapping of new sources, initiation of conservation measures and regulation of use and cost.

The proposed agency will consolidate the functions of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Local Water Utilities Administration and the National Water Resourcers Board in order that all government resources will target solutions to the impending water shortage, he continued.

“Pangmatagalang solusyon po ang pagkakaroon ng Department of Water Resources Management na kinakailangang maisabatas sa lalong madaling panahon.  Ang isyu ng climate change na siyang ugat ng El Niño at ng iba pang mga matitinding kalamidad ay hindi na ma-re-reverse, subalit maaaring mabawasan ang epekto nito lalung-lalo na sa kalusugan at kabuhayan ng mga tao.  Dapat lamang na maging mabilis ang aksyon ng pamahalaan sa mga pagkakatong ito,” he said.

Tolentino, also  former chairman of the Metropolitan  Manila Development Authority, is a Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial bet.