Palace rejects proposed creation of water department

Published March 18, 2019, 3:13 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has rejected the proposed creation of a Department of Water and suggested instead the establishment of reservoirs in communities to ensure ample supply.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

“Hindi kailangan ‘yan. (I don’t think it’s necessary],” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said during a Palace briefing.

“Ang problema ngayon nagawaan nila ng paraan. Simpleng-simple ang problema [They were able to resolve the problem. The problem was simple]. They created their own problem, and they provided the solution. It’s purely inefficiency, mismanagement,” he added.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier recommended the creation of a Department of Water to regulate all government agencies and private water firms. He said the proposed department would centralize all activities related to water supply and distribution to avoid another crisis.

Instead of creating a new department, Panelo proposed the construction of reservoirs to store water and development of deep wells as alternative source of water.

“I have a personal suggestion. I think we should really put reservoirs in all cities of this country as well as in provinces. It’s very easy to build reservoirs. I can’t even understand why we are not doing that,” he said.

“Apart from the reservoir, we can exploit the deep well because my personal experience in Marikina, I have a deep well so I don’t have a problem there,” he said.

He said there were probably other areas in the country that could be tapped as potential sources of water for Filipinos. “You cannot be relying on these two concessionaires,” he added.

So far, Panelo said Manila Water has restored 90 percent of the water supply in their concessionaire areas a week after service interruption. He said Manila Water hopes to restore the supply in all areas soon.

“The fact that it’s 90 percent that means baka by tomorrow—they were saying that the only places where there is problem in the water supply are those areas na nasa taas – upper areas,” he said.