Gov’t crafts roadmap to address El Niño, water shortage

Gov’t crafts roadmap to address El Niño, water shortage

MANILA — The government has come up with a roadmap to ease the effects of El Niño and water shortage and provide solutions to conserve water in the country, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the roadmap was presented in Monday night’s Cabinet meeting in Malacañan Palace where water conservation was the first item on the agenda.

Panelo said among the interventions in the roadmap was the proposed creation of a Department of Water and a Department of Disaster Resilience.

Last month, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia proposed the creation of a water department to centralize supply and distribution of water among government agencies and water concessionaires.

Panelo earlier said the creation a new department is unnecessary since the water shortage problem experienced in some parts of Manila could be “easily fixed”.

Other interventions to save water supply include making an intensive campaign for the conservation of water and energy, dredging of waterways, and replacing tunnels and aqueducts.

Also raised was the proposal to install water tank systems in all Department of Health (DOH) hospitals and provide funding for the establishment of water treatment plants.

Panelo said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro presented the proposed Executive Order (EO) on transforming and strengthening the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

Under the EO, the NWRB and the River Basin Control Office will be merged into the National Water Management Council (NWMC).

He emphasized that this will streamline and consolidate planning and regulation of all water and river basins in the country and also draft a National Water Management Framework Plan. PNA –