Poe refiles bill creating Department of Water Resources | Inquirer News

Poe refiles bill for creation of Department of Water Resources

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 07:33 AM July 27, 2022

Sen. Grace Poe. STORY: Poe refiles bill for creation of Department of Water Resources

Sen. Grace Poe (Photo from a video of the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe has refiled a bill seeking to create a Department of Water Resources for the improvement of water resources nationwide.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. mentioned the measure as one of the priorities of his administration in his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.


The refiled measure is Senate Bill No. 102 — the proposed National Water Resource Management Act.


“There are many water-related laws in the Philippines,” Poe noted in the bill. “However, their enforcement is weak and the water sector is beset with problems including poor database[s] and weak cooperation among water agencies, regulatory bodies, and local government units.”

The bill further explained: “The regulatory framework for water has many overlaps, and economic regulations are provided under a number of different arrangements which result in the framework’s instability and fragmentation.”

The proposed Department of Water Resources would be the “primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and administrative entity of the executive branch of the government.”

It will also handle the strategic allocation of water resources to make them more widely available.

The bill also seeks to create an independent, quasi-judicial body to be called the Water Regulatory Commission to “rationalize the economic as well as administrative regulation of water utilities.”

Its other functions are as follows:

  • policymaking for water supply
  • managing sewerage and septage
  • issuing of licenses
  • setting, reviewing, and approving rates
  • reviewing and suspending contracts
  • initiating investigations on erring officials through its quasi-judicial nature
  • reviewing and revoking issuances, memoranda and the like that are not in accordance with the spirit of the Commission
  • ensuring that the welfare of consumers is prioritized

In a separate statement, Poe underscored the need to pass the legislation.

“Water shortage should not be a way of life. We expect reforms in water governance and infrastructure the way the Filipinos deserve this basic utility as an essential human right,” she said.


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