Saturday, June 15, 2024

Senator Poe Seeks Passage Of Department Of Water Within 19th Congress

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Senator Poe Seeks Passage Of Department Of Water Within 19th Congress

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Senator Grace Poe assured Tuesday that she would “endeavor” to pass the measure seeking to create a Department of Water Resources (DWR) before the adjournment of the 19th Congress in 2025.

Poe made the assurance as she convened the Senate Committee on Public Services for its first hearing on the measure.

“We are about to go on a break before the SONA (state of the nation address), I think it’s unrealistic to say that we will pass it then, sa dami ng problema (with a lot of other problems), but we will endeavor to pass it definitely by this Congress because we have to, this is crucial,” she told her colleagues.

“I am glad that this administration finally, has set as its priority the creation of this department.”

The creation of a Department of Water Resources is one of the priority measures mentioned by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in his previous SONA.

Poe said she is hesitant to create a new department but believes that the need for a centralized focus of the national government on water management is crucial, as she noted that the root of water crisis in the Philippines is not the lack of resources, but a lack of regulation and effective management.

With the creation of the DWR, she said, the national government should be able to “effectively manage” the country’s 421 river basins; 59 natural lakes; 100,000 hectares of freshwater swamps; 50,000 square km. of groundwater reservoir; and 2,400 millimeters of average rainfall throughout the year. (PNA)