Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo prods Local Water Utilities Administration on short-term steps to avert water crisis

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

FORMER President now Speaker of the House Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has asked the National Water Regulatory Board and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to start implementing short-term measures to address the water problem.

During a public hearing in the House of Representatives, Speaker Arroyo made the proposal as the government is looking for ways to address the looming water crisis.

In the same hearing, LWUA Administrator Jeci Lapuz informed the House oversight committee that the level of Angat Dam continued to dip and was down to 158.02 meter which is lower by 0.13 meters from yesterday.

“We should now start with the implementation of the measures agreed upon during our hearing last Tuesday for the sake of our countrymen,” Speaker Arroyo said.

Speaker Arroyo said LWUA and the NWRB should now begin tapping the water supply of nearby provinces to augment the water needs of Metro Manila.

In the joint hearing of the House Committee on Public Works and Highways with the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Tuesday, it was discussed that as a short-term solution could be directing the nearby water districts  to apportion their resources to the affected areas in Metro Manila.

Officials of Maynilad and Manila Water gave their full support to the proposal saying they will arrange for the actual transportation of water supply.

Speaker Arroyo also urged all concerned government agencies to find additional ways to mitigate the water shortage including fast-tracking the implementation of infrastructure projects to augment the water supply in Metro Manila.

“This problem needs swift and decisive action. Time is of the essence,” she said.

Speaker Arroyo had also pushed for the passage of her measure, House Bill No. 8068, seeking to establish the Department of Water, Irrigation, Sewage and Sanitation Resource Management as a long-term solution to the water shortage. It is set to be refiled in the 18th Congress.