PH water crisis goes beyond agriculture, water management—Marcos

At a glance

  • President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. spoke about the Philippines facing water crisis on the sideline of the Pag-IBIG Chairman's Report held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

  • Marcos said that it's "unacceptable" the Philippines lacks water since it's a tropical country.

  • Photo by Noel Pabalate | Manila Bulletin

After admitting that the country is facing a water crisis, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, March 28, identified further problems in the country’s water sources and management.

During a media interview following the Pag-IBIG Fund Chairman’s Report at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the Chief Executive pointed at the shortage of fresh water supply, drinking water, and irrigation water.

“So, what we have come up with the – well we have an overall plan in that we are changing the way that we water, that we acquire the supply of water and we are hoping to shift – we’re not hoping, we are going to shift from the majority of water sources now which is kumukuha tayo, laging balon ang kinukuhanan natin eh (we get from, we always get from the wells),” he said.

The President furthered that the country should instead be “taking advantage of surface water.”

While he admitted that the water supply problem would affect the agriculture sector the most because crops are heavily reliant on water, Marcos said the country’s water management problem “goes beyond just agriculture” because the issue also affects water for irrigation, water for power production, and the management of surface water for flood control and irrigation.

“Mahirap… Hindi katanggap-tanggap na ang Pilipinas kulang sa tubig. Dahil alam naman natin hindi – basang-basa ang Pilipinas na ano eh. We are a tropical country (It’s hard… It is unacceptable that the Philippines lacks water. Because we know that the Philippines has a lot of water. We are a tropical country),” he lamented.

Recently, the President signed an executive order creating the Water Resource Management Office, which would be attached to the Office of the President (OP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

But while he said the office’s creation would make water management “more cohesive,” he also expressed hope that Congress would pass a law for the establishment of the Department of Water Management.

“And so it’s just really a question of managing our water. We have always – we kept postponing this problem over the many, many years at every level. So it’s time to put it together, to put in a cohesive plan na masusundan ng lahat ng LGU, masusundan ng lahat ng mga agencies of government (that all LGUs and government agencies can follow),” Marcos explained.

One advantage, however, of facing this problem now is that there are “many examples of water management around the world which we can emulate,” the President added.