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Poe laments ‘drought of common goals’ amid looming water crisis

Senate public services chairperson Grace Poe on Monday expressed dismay over a “drought of common goals” among water agencies in preventing a water crisis amid the dry season.

“The water crisis hounding Filipinos is avoidable if the correct policies are in place and are being implemented… While there are many water-related agencies, there is a drought of common goals that would set clear directions and actions toward water security for all Filipinos,” Poe said.

The lawmaker pointed out that the El Niño—a phase characterized by the warming of sea surface temperature in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and below normal rainfall—is a “predictable” phenomenon which the water authorities and concessionaires should have prepared for.

“Instead, we are confronted with the same old scenarios during this season of the year—dry taps, parched soil, below normal dam levels, long queues of pails,” she said.

“By this time, we expect the Water Resources Management Office to get its feet wet amid the water shortage being felt by households, businesses and the agriculture sector,” she went on.

The lawmaker echoed the need for the creation of a Department of Water Resources, saying this will serve as a permanent body that will lead a comprehensive development and management of water resources to once and for all end the country’s perennial water woes.

At least six bills seeking to create a Department of Water Resources were filed in the Senate. — BM, GMA Integrated News