MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has approved the creation of an office that will manage water resources and ensure sufficient supply, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Marcos suggested that the new Water Resource Management Office's (WRMO) first task "should be reducing the country’s reliance on groundwater and deep wells, as well as managing surface water supply," the Presidential Communications Office said.
"We have sufficient... there’s enough water in the Philippines hindi lang natin ginagamit, tinatapon natin,” Marcos said.
(It's not being used, we're wasting it.)
The new body will also ensure that other agencies would follow a plan for waste management.
"That’s why we have to strengthen the mandate of the Water Management Office. We have to bring them (agencies) together so that they are all following the overall plan,” Marcos said.
"This new Water Management Office, it has to be cohesive in the sense that kailangan ‘yung recommendation ng management office sinusundan," he added.
(The recommendation of the management office should be followed.)
The Palace said it would craft an executive order that would allow the National Water Resources Board, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the Local Water Utilities Administration and the other water-related agencies "to have a collaborative mechanism under the WRMO to implement water management programs."
The WRMO will be under the environment department and serve as a "transitory body" pending the creation of a Water Resources Department, the Palace said.
The creation of the Department of Water Resources is part of Marcos' legislative priorities.
Lawmakers have urged the previous Duterte administration to form a separate department to manage water resources following irrigation issues and a massive flooding in Luzon.