Duterte orders gov’t agencies to conserve water to avoid another shortage

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 04:34 PM

Residents line up for water rationed by Manila Water in Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City on March 11, 2019 amid supply problems. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government agencies to conserve water to ensure enough supply throughout the dry season following a shortage last year.

Government-owned or controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges are also mandated to adopt water conservation measures particularly those serviced by the Angat Dam in Bulacan, the President said.

Duterte’s order comes as government sought to prevent the repeat of supply woes last year, when over a million households in Metro Manila suffered from a water crisis brought about by the low water level in Angat Dam, lack of rains due to El Niño, and high demand.

“There is an urgent need to implement water conservation measures to avert a looming water crisis and in order to attain at least a 20 percent reduction in water consumption especially within the areas served by the Angat Dam, including Metro Manila and parts of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan provinces,” Duterte said in his Administrative Order No. 24 signed on Wednesday but made public on Thursday.

Under the President’s order, all local government units especially those in areas served by Angat Dam should issue advisories and enact ordinances to protect water supply in their respective jurisdictions.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government is meanwhile tasked to monitor compliance to President Duterte’s order. Failure to heed the President’s directive shall result in the filing of appropriate administrative charges, the order stated.

Metro Manila's water utility firms began rotational supply cuts in October last year to avoid a bigger problem with the water supply.