El Nino, water roadmap discussed in Cabinet meeting

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2019 09:52 AM

A woman fetches water at a refilling station in Rodriguez, Rizal. A roadmap to address the effects of El Niño and a water shortage in the capital was presented to President Rodrigo Duterte during a Cabinet meeting on April 1, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- A roadmap to address the effects of El Niño and a water shortage in the capital was presented to President Rodrigo Duterte during a recent Cabinet meeting, his spokesman said Tuesday.

The plan calls for a water conservation campaign, dredging of waterways, replacing tunnels and aqueducts, installation of water tank systems in all government hospitals, funding for water treatment plants and the creation of Department of Water and the Department of Disaster Resilience, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

A proposed executive order, which aims to transform and strengthen the National Water Resources Board, was also presented by the National Economic and Development Authority, Panelo said in a statement. 

Under the proposal the NWRB and the River Basin Control Office will be merged into the National Water Management Council to "consolidate planning and regulation" of the country's river basins, he said. 

During Monday's cabinet meeting, Duterte directed all agencies to review all water contracts entered into by the government and to "remove onerous provisions that might be detrimental to the lives of Filipinos," Panelo said. 

Residents in Metro Manila's east zone serviced by Manila Water are grappling with a water shortage. The Ayala-led concessionaire earlier said it would offer a one-time bill waver for "severely affected" consumers.