Tolentino renews call for single water agency

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Lawyer Francis Tolentino has reiterated his call for the immediate creation of a single water agency that will address the current water shortage that may be made worse by an El Niño situation in the coming months.

In a statement, Tolentino, the former presidential adviser for political affairs of President Duterte, stressed the whole nation will suffer from severe water crisis unless government acts fast to address the impending situation.

“Kung matatandaan po ng ating mga kababayan, ako po ang unang bumoses sa paparating na krisis sa tubig at sa paghagupit ng El Nino. Matagal ko na pong iminumungkahi ang pagtatatag ng Department of Water Resources Management na magiging punong ahensiya ng ating pamahalaan para sa pangangasiwa at pangangalaga sa tubig sa bansa, at maging sa pagharap sa mga krisis sa tubig na gaya ng nararanasan ngayon hindi lamang sa Kamaynilaan kungdi maging sa ibang bahagi ng bansa,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino said the proposed department will be tasked to address water issues, including the tapping of new sources, initiation of conservation measures and regulation of use and cost.

The proposed agency will consolidate the functions of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Local Water Utilities Administration and the National Water Resourcers Board in order that all government resources will target solutions to the impending water shortage, he continued.

“Pangmatagalang solusyon po ang pagkakaroon ng Department of Water Resources Management na kinakailangang maisabatas sa lalong madaling panahon. Ang isyu ng climate change na siyang ugat ng El Nino at ng iba pang mga matitinding kalamidad ay hindi na ma-re-reverse, subalit maaaring mabawasan ang epekto nito lalung-lalo na sa kalusugan at kabuhayan ng mga tao. Dapat lamang na maging mabilis ang aksyon ng pamahalaan sa mga pagkakatong ito,” he said.

Tolentino, also the former chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, is a
Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial bet.

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