NEDA chief supports creation of Department of Water Resources

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2022 04:59 PM

A picture taken at the Angat Dam reservoir shows the level of water on July 8, 2022. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News/file
A picture taken at the Angat Dam reservoir shows the level of water on July 8, 2022. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Arsenio Balisacan on Friday said he supports the creation of a government agency overseeing water management in the country.

Balisacan said the country is in a situation of being surrounded by water but has various water-related problems that have not been addressed.

"We have droughts, we have problems with fresh-water supply, with irrigation, with flooding, that shows you how critical it is,” he said. 

When asked if creating a separate government agency for water security and supply will just add another layer of bureaucracy, Balisacan sees it otherwise. 

"Indeed there are may institutions that are created overtime to address these issues but the current set-up is so complex and inefficient,” Balisacan said. 

He underlined the country’s vulnerability, particularly the national capital region which gets its water supply from only one source, the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system. 

“If something happens there, what do we do? It's really very serious,” Balisacan said. 

He supports President Bongbong Macos Jr.’s initiative to include the creation of the Department of Water Resources among priority bills for the 19th Congress and to adopt the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) as the strategic framework for national water management, policymaking and planning. 

Marcos proposed the said legislation during his first State of the Nation Address.