CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (UPDATED) — Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga on Thursday said the executive order creating the Water Resource Management Office under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has yet to be completed.
"The EO is still being finalized," Yulo-Loyzaga told reporters at a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, adding there would be no new undersecretary for the new office that's also tasked with ensuring sufficient water supply in the country.
The environment chief said they’re aware of the streamlining that needs to happen inside the agency and assured that the person who will lead the newly created office is knowledgeable on water resources management.
"That person has to be an expert, has a scientific background in terms of water resource management and he understands climate change and what its implications," she said.
"And we have such [a] person in the department."
Yulo-Loyzaga made the statement during the first day of the last leg of nationwide consultations spearheaded by her department, which started last year, with different stakeholders including the academe, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector in a bid to come up with a "foundation" for fresh environment resilience policies.
On Wednesday, Malacañang confirmed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has approved the creation of the Water Resource Management Office.
It also said that 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."
—with a report from Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News
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