El Niño threat: Malacañang urges gov’t agencies to save water now, avoid crisis later
MANILA, Philippines — El Niño is coming.
Malacañang on Friday directed all national government agencies to ensure strict implementation of water conservation measures to prevent supply shortage amid the looming El Niño phenomenon.
In Memorandum Circular (MC) 22, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on June 7 but made public Friday, Malacañang mandated all national government agencies, including government-owned corporations and state universities and colleges, to identify and implement conservation measures that will result in a 10 percent reduction in water consumption.
“With the probability of the El Niño phenomenon occurring within the next few months, there is an urgent need to implement water conservation measures to avert a looming water crisis not just in Metro Manila, but in all other areas of the country experiencing water scarcity,” the MC read.
The Palace tasked the newly-created Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) to lead the implementation of the nationwide water conservation program, as well as to identify strategies towards water conservation and monitor compliance of government agencies.
The WRMO was also directed to provide quarterly updates to the Office of the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.
Meanwhile, the Local Water Utilities Administration, the National Water Resources Board, and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System were tasked to submit a “monthly supply-demand projection,” highlighting the likelihood of a deficit in the water supply.
Government-run and private water service providers (WSPs) were also directed to implement water conservation measures such as non-revenue and pressure management.
Malacañang also urged WSPs to complete their projects to reduce non-revenue water and upgrade water distribution pipes, with local government units encouraged to process WSP requests for waterworks.
To recall, the state weather bureau previously mentioned that there is an 80 percent chance that the El Niño phenomenon will begin between June and August this year and last until the first quarter of 2024