Gov’t was unprepared to deal with water shortage in Metro Manila – Otso Diretso

Published March 12, 2019, 3:13 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Jhon Aldrin Casinas 

Otso Diretso senatorial candidates lambasted the unpreparedness of the government in addressing the current water shortage in Metro Manila due to the prevailing El Niño phenomenon.

Samira Gutoc, Chel Diokno, and Romulo Macalintal (MANILA BULLETIN)
Samira Gutoc, Chel Diokno, and Romulo Macalintal

Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc questioned why the government was not prepared to address the current dilemma on water supply in Metro Manila.

“I feel sad. Masyado akong nasaktan na hindi tayo preparado. (I was really hurt that we are prepared) Why are we not preparing for a water crisis? So instead of addressing the issue of pagpalit ng pangalan ng Pilipinas (the change in the Philippines’ name), [the government should] always be ready,” Gutoc said.

“It’s inexcusable eh na hindi tayo preparado sa nga ganitong water crisis (that we are not prepared for a water crisis such like this),” Gutoc told reporters after a campaign event in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday.

Chel Diokno, on the other hand, said that the government should have a comprehensive program and a unified agency monitoring the water woes in the country.

“There has to be a comprehensive program from the government kasi sa ngayon watak-watak ang water policy ng pamahalaan. At may iba-ibang ahensya, may kanya-kanyang sakop na jurisdiction (because right now the government’s water policy is in disarray. And there are different agencies that have respective scope and jurisdiction),” Diokno said.

Diokno, a civil rights advocate and lawyer, also bared that according to scientists, the issue on water will become a big problem within the next 10 to 20 years.

“Ang taumbayan ay may karapatan para sa malinis at maiinom na tubig (The masses have the right for a clean and drinkable water),” Diokno stressed.

Meanwhile, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said that local government units should install water tank systems, especially in barangays usually hit by emergencies.

“Dapat ang mga barangays at mga local government units ay magkaroon ng tank system, lalo na sa lugar na ito na problema talaga ang sunog (The barangays and local government units should have a water tank system, especially in this area where fire is usually a problem),” Macalintal said.

Macalintal, who is pushing for the rights and welfare of senior citizens, suggested that government should further look for alternative sources of water.

“I think the government should look for other sources of water just like in Quezon or in Laguna Lake and study it to avoid the problem not only here in Mandaluyong but also in the entire Philippines where water is a basic need,” he said. #MatalinongBoto2019