Poe: Gov’t should have prepared for water crisis

Senator Grace Poe on Monday said the water crisis in the country is “avoidable” if the correct policies are in place and are being implemented.

Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services, stressed that the looming El Niño phenomenon is predictable, thus it “should have kept water authorities and concessionaires on their toes to prepare for contingency measures.”

“Instead, we are confronted with the same old scenarios during this season of the year — dry taps, parched soil, below normal dam levels, long queues of pails,” she said in a statement.

“While there are many water-related agencies, there is a drought of common goals that would set clear directions and actions toward water security for all Filipinos,” she added.

The lawmaker also said she is expecting actions from the Water Resources Management Office, whose main function is to respond to the current environmental challenges and manage water resources through a concerted government effort engaging various sectors.

“By this time, we expect the Water Resources Management Office to get its feet wet amid the water shortage being felt by households, businesses and the agriculture sector,” she said.

Last February, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the creation of the WRMO  under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

According to the Presidential Communications Office, the WRMO will serve as an interim agency pending the passage of a proposed law that will establish a Department on Water Resources.

Poe said the Senate will continue to push for the creation of a Water Resources Department, which is one of the priority measures of the Marcos administration.

“At the Senate, we will remain steadfast in pushing for the creation of the Department of Water Resources as a permanent body that will lead to the comprehensive development and management of water resources to once and for all end our people’s perennial water woes,” she stresssed.

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