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Marcos admits there’s water crisis in Philippines

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. admitted Thursday that the Philippines is experiencing water crisis.

In his attendance to the 6th Edition of the Water Philippines Conference and Exposition, Marcos mentioned "stratagems" for water treatment and flood control projects, among others, which are needed to address the problem with water.

Marcos specifically cited the need to build dikes and dams as part of flood control measures.

"When I was still governor, when you said water management, it generally meant flood control. And we would put dikes, we would put dams so as to be able to control the flooding. However now, we must think in a very different way. Flood control, although many of the projects that the government has undertaken is categorized as flood control, these flood control projects no longer just are exclusively for that," Marcos said in his speech.

"These are the kinds of stratagems that we have to employ, that we have to bring down to the grassroots level because the water crisis in the Philippines – and I call it a water crisis because it is," he said.

"I was very surprised in the past years, even as senator, even as governor, that no one was speaking about water problems. Whereas every single urban community and even some rural communities in the Philippines have a water crisis," he added.

Aside from building dams and dikes, Marcos also mentioned the measures in other countries, specifically in Israel, on water treatment.

"I have been to many desert countries where I see the excellent water management. I’d spent some time in Israel and I saw how they treat the water because water is very scarce. They live in the desert," he said.

Marcos said he believes that the government has not been examining the water crisis in the country.

"We do not look at it, just find other ways and put up with the idea that once in a while we’ll have to pull out our buckets and fill our bathtubs with water because there’s not going to be water for the next 24 hours," Marcos said.

According to the President, the country's problem with water has an adverse effects to the food supply, citing the importance of irrigation in the agriculture sector.

"And so when they say water is life, it’s not just a cliché, it’s a truism. And it is something that we must always keep in mind especially now," he said.

Marcos then said he signed an executive order that will create the Office of Water Management, which aims to manage the country’s water resources and respond to present environmental challenges.

The Palace, however, has not released a copy of the executive order yet.

"I am optimistic because when I look around and I see the technologies and the desire for every – both in the local governments, both in the private sector – the desire to be able to provide this water supply, then, that’s where my optimism comes from," Marcos said. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News