Water should get the same backing as ‘build, build, build,’ says LWUA chief
BAGUIO CITY –– Potable water should get the same support that has been given to the government’s “build, build, build” program, the chief of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) said here on Thursday (Oct. 3).
“Can we walk on unpaved roads? Yes! Can we cross a shallow part of a river without a bridge? Yes! But can we cook rice using gasoline? Using diesel?” said LWUA administrator Jeci Lapuz during the Baguio launch of his agency’s Save the Water Advocacy Program.
“Before build, build, build, we should start with water, water, water… which I will tell the Senate,” he said.
Lapuz said Congress has begun deliberating on a proposed Department of Water to better regulate the exploitation and distribution of this key human necessity, but he would not back a suggestion made by a senator to make water a free commodity.
Baguio residents have learned to collect rainwater to augment supply because water has been rationed since the late 1980s. Many of the city’s original dwellers also practice water recycling.
A growing population and a rise in infrastructure projects could tax Baguio water resources further, given that the Baguio Water District generates 47,000 cubic meters of water daily for a 50,000-cubic meter demand.
The city has a population of close to 350,000 people. /lzb
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