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Poe: Water issues stem from inefficient regulation

INEFFICIENT regulation lies at the center of the Philippines’ water shortages, which could be addressed with the creation of an agency focused on managing water resources, Senator Mary Grace N. Poe-Llamanzares said on Tuesday.

“The root of our water crisis, however, is actually a crisis in regulation,” Senator told a Senate committee hearing legislation to establish the Department of Water Resources.

“The problem is not that we don’t have resources but that we do not effectively manage our resources.”

With more than 30 government agencies overseeing water-related programs, a centralized agency for water would result in a more streamlined approach to managing the resource, she added.

Senate Bill No. 2412, filed by Senator Ronald M. Dela Rosa in August, proposes to create the Department of Water Resource Management, which will be tasked with drafting a roadmap to address the Philippines’ water, sewage, and sanitation requirements.

The department will also set targets with other government agencies to improve management of the water supply, sewage, water-derived energy, the environment, and food security.

“Through this (measure), we shall create a Department of Water Resources that reflects the obligation to sustainably utilize our resources, the needs of our growing population, and our collective goal to ensure water security for all,” Mr. Dela Rosa said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez