Philippines needs 'czar,' more infra for water: American Chamber


Posted at Mar 14 2019 04:35 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2019 07:47 PM

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MANILA - American businessmen in the Philippines on Thursday renewed their call for the government to designate a 'water czar' to oversee concerned agencies as tens of thousands in the capital grappled with a supply shortage.

There should be a cabinet-level official to coordinate 32 government offices and come up with a "single voice," said Chris Ilagan, co-chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

"Water becomes an issue when you have too little or too much of it, and unfortunately as we get over that hump, we tend to forget that there is a need for a long term solution," Ilagan told ANC's Market Edge. 

The government should have more water projects in its Build, Build Build program aside from the China-funded Kaliwa Dam in Quezon province, he said.

"There should be more, there could be more," Ilagan said.

The current water crisis can open opportunities for businesses to come in and help build the needed infrastructure for water services, he said.

Ports tycoon Enrique Razon is interested in building a dam in Rodriguez, Rizal which can serve part of Metro Manila's water needs, according to a Bloomberg report.