Duterte orders faster gov't action on permits for water infra projects

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2020 03:31 PM

Duterte orders faster gov't action on permits for water infra projects 1
President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Matina Enclaves, Davao City on June 4, 2020. Joey Dalumpines, Presidential Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to streamline the processing of permits for flagship infrastructure projects on water security to ensure ample supply.

Duterte signed on Wednesday Administrative Order No. 32 which requires all government agencies to prioritize the review and approval of infrastructure projects in relation to water supply.

Under the President's order, applications for permits, clearances, and authorization submitted with complete requirements shall be deemed approved if a government agency fails to act on it within the prescribed period of time.

"There is a need for the national government to pursue institutional reforms such as streamlining processes of concerned agencies to encourage and guide investments in water supply, sewerage and sanitation, and expedite the approval and processing of infrastructure flagship projects on water security, while respecting property rights and protecting public safety and the environment," Duterte said in the order.

The President said the bureaucracy has “routinely and excessively delayed” infrastructure projects on water security.

He also tasked the Anti-Red Tape Authority to oversee the processing of local permits and barangay clearances in relation to infrastructure projects on water supply.

Duterte had previously criticized water distributors- Maynilad and Manila Water- over supposed onerous contracts, saying the companies were collecting fees for a sewage treatment plant despite their supposed failure to produce “even a can of clean water.”

He had also threatened water concessionaires with the "nationalization of water services" in their respective areas should they reject a new contract from the government.

Read the President's latest administrative order below: