Marcos okays new water management office
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday announced that he signed an executive order creating the Water Resource Management Office pending the passage of the Department of Water Resources as he admitted that the Philippines was facing a water crisis.
In his speech during the Water Philippines Conference and Exposition in Pasay City, the President cited that there were many agencies involved in the water supply and water management in the country.
“What we are going to try to do is to make it a more cohesive policy so that there is planning at the national level and in that way we can maximize the management of what water we have,” he said.
He acknowledged that there were bills filed in Congress seeking the creation of the Department of Water Resources but have yet to be passed by lawmakers.
The creation of the Department of Water Resources was among the priority bills pushed by the President during his first State of the Nation Address.
“So until those bills are passed, until the department is created, we have this office of water management now,” he said.
He said the Philippines was facing a water crisis because the government had not addressed the water shortage in the country.
He said the Philippines should emulate the best practices of other countries in terms of water management, citing that he has been to many desert countries like Israel where they have “excellent water management.”
“These are the kinds of thinking that we have to apply to the Philippines because of the crisis that we are facing and how debilitating it will be to the entire economy, to the entire society if our water supply problem continues to get greater,” he said.
He warned that the water shortage in the Philippines would have an impact on the country’s food supply and could further worsen the country’s food crisis.
“It impacts into the area of food supply, in food crisis. And so when they say water is life, it’s not just a cliché, it’s a truism,” he said. In terms of agriculture, he cited that “the secret to a good crop is irrigation.”