Averting Marawi water crisis: Senators to urge Marcos Jr. to name LWUA head
MANILA, Philippines – Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Robin Padilla said they would urge President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to appoint a chief for the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to solve water-related problems in Marawi City.
The plea came during the LWUA’s budget hearing with the Senate Committee on Finance when Dela Rosa and Padilla questioned Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Eileen dela Vega about the water shortage in Marawi City.
Dela Vega apologized to the citizens of Marawi on behalf of the agency, adding that the agency is still suffering from limited authority and power because of the lack of a LWUA administrator.
“Mayroon po kasi kaming mga recommendation kami na for approval po ng aming board, pero sa ngayon po, medyo hindi po nila ma-aksyunan, because wala po kaming full-fledged administrator. As OIC po, I have limited authority,” dela Vega said.
(We have recommendations for approval of our board, but for now, they cannot act on them because we do not have a full-fledged administrator. As OIC, I have limited authority.)
Dela Rosa told Padilla they should speak to Marcos Jr. about the LWUA appointment.
“Siguro pupunta na tayong dalawa doon kay kwan, sa Malacañang, kausapin natin si Pangulong Marcos na mag-appoint na ng permanent administrator para wala na maging excuse itong LWUA, ano?” said Dela Rosa to Padilla.
(Maybe the two of us should head to Malacañang to talk to President Marcos to appoint a permanent administrator so that LWUA does not have an excuse anymore, right?)
Padilla agreed, expressing his frustrations at the lack of progress for the water supply in Marawi.
Dela Vega also explained that the agency had already written a letter to Marcos, appealing to him to appoint a full-time administrator for LWUA, to which the President has yet to respond.
Padilla said that the LWUA’s board of trustees can appoint an administrator. However, only three out of five board of trustee members are seated, said Dela Vega. The remaining trustees are also supposed to be appointed by Marcos, she added.
“Hindi ko po alam paano pa-function ang LWUA niyan. Paano po ba, kawawa naman po kayo ma’am,” Padilla said.
(I do not know how the LWUA functions like that. How is that? It is pitiful for you, ma’am).
Dela Rosa, Padilla, and Committee on Finance Chairperson Senator Mark Villar said the Senate will also speak to the current board of trustees to see if they can appoint the new administrator themselves since three trustees are still a majority of the board.
With these actions, Villar passed the LWUA’s budget at the committee level, saying that the senators will revisit the issues raised at the Senate plenary level.
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