Palace says Duterte open to creation of water dep’t
By Prince Golez
Malacanang said President Rodrigo Duterte is in favor of creating a Department of Water to address the impact of El Niño and the shortage in water supply.
“It will synchronize all the acts of other agencies, hopefully, to prevent the occurrence of water stoppage that we had last time,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters Tuesday.
Panelo earlier said the Cabinet discussed last Monday a roadmap that aims to mitigate the effects of El Niño-related drought and water shortage.
“A roadmap was presented, which included immediate, medium and long-term interventions, such as making an intensive campaign for the conservation of water and energy, creating a Department of Water and a Department of Disaster Resilience, dredging of waterways, replacing tunnels and aqueducts, installing water tank systems in all Department of Health hospitals and providing funding for the establishment of water treatment plants,” the chief legal counsel said in a statement.
He added the National Economic and Development Authority also asked Duterte to issue an executive order (EO) that will transform and strengthen the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).
The EO, Panelo said, will merge the NWRB and the River Basin Control Office into the National Water Management Council.
“This will streamline and consolidate planning and regulation of all water and river basins in the country. It will also draft a National Water Management Framework Plan,” according to him.