MANILA -- Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Tuesday said he would gather support in Congress for the creation of a Department of Water as Metro Manila reeled from a supply shortage.
The proposed central authority on water should prioritize the creation of sustainable water supply from various sources including rainwater from mini-dams, Romualdez said.
"It is ironic that Metro Manila is submerged in flood waters even at the slightest downpour, yet households do not have a steady supply of water from their faucets," said Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and a contender for House speaker.
"The mean annual rainfall of the Philippines varies from 965 to 4,064 millimeters annually. It is time that we study the possibility of rainwater harvesting as a source of drinking water for our cities and municipalities," he said.
Romualdez said the mini-dam proposal was from Bulacan Rep. Gavini Pancho, who raised it at a government-hosted economic briefing last Monday.
"I fully subscribe to the proposal of Cong. Apol. Since the creation of Department of Water is a priority of President Duterte, I will ask other leaders of Congress to include the mini-dam concept in the legislative measure," he said.
Romualdez cited the experience of Singapore where rainwater is
collected through a network of drains, canals and rivers and channeled to reservoirs before it is treated.
There are now at least 32 agencies involved in the management of the country’s water resources, he said.