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MWSS: Declare Laguna Lake ‘vital source of water’

Cabinet recommendation in anticipation of new water crisis
/ 05:24 AM November 08, 2019

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) wants Laguna Lake to be declared a “vital source of water” to be protected amid a water crisis that may strike anew in Metro Manila.

The MWSS made this and several other proposals during a Cabinet meeting presided by President Duterte on Wednesday night.

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Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said MWSS administrator Emmanuel Salamat “sought that the Laguna Lake be declared as a vital source of water which needs protection and security.”

Possible water shortage

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It was one of several suggestions to help cushion the effects of a possible water shortage in Metro Manila, the second one to hit the metropolis this year.

Salamat also asked the Department of the Interior and Local Government to compel local government units to “expedite necessary permits to meet timelines of the projects of the MWSS.”

He also “suggested the need to secure assistance from other agencies to create a comprehensive water security plan” and proposed the creation of an interagency task force on water supply and sewerage.

Extraordinary powers

Last week, the President warned that he would exercise his extraordinary powers to implement the Kaliwa Dam project as an alternative source of water for Metro Manila.

Mr. Duterte said the people’s right to water was the “greater concern” rather than the objections to the dam project, particularly its adverse effects on the environment.

Malacañang said Mr. Duterte was ready to take over the MWSS and private water concessionaires distributing water to thousands of households in Metro Manila.

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In recent weeks, Maynilad Water Services and Manila Water have been implementing rotational water interruptions.

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TAGS: Kaliwa dam, Laguna Lake, MWSS
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