Amid El Niño onset, Rep. Co pitches solar-powered water system anew | Inquirer News

Amid El Niño onset, Rep. Co pitches solar-powered water system anew

/ 09:12 PM July 10, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co has brought up the use of solar-powered water systems again as the country deals with the onset of the El Niño phenomenon, saying that it is a clean and sustainable way to ensure water supply even in far-flung areas.

Co on Monday said that proactive measures are needed especially after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced the onset of the El Niño season.

READ: Pagasa declares onset of El Niño


Pagasa said El Niño is characterized by unusually warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, causing below-normal rains which can lead to dry spells and droughts.


“Given the predictions from Pagasa, it is crucial that we take proactive measures to address the potential adverse effects of El Niño on our agricultural communities,” Co, chairperson of the House Committee on appropriations, said in a statement.

“The proposed solar-powered irrigation facility, coupled with an advanced fertigation system, holds great promise in ensuring an uninterrupted and environmentally friendly water supply for our farmers,” he added.

As early as May 2023, Co raised the possibility of using solar energy to address water shortage.  The lawmaker said this after Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno admitted that the country may face a water crisis by 2040 if local governments do not create their own potable water systems.

READ: Diokno urges local governments to invest in potable water systems

According to Co, local governments can adopt a system where solar energy is used to pump and distribute the water from the station to the households.  Aside from ensuring a continuous water supply, Co said it would also allow water cooperatives to explore cleaner means to distribute water, as most systems rely on diesel fuel, a non-renewable source of energy.

READ: Ako Bicol solon pitches solar-powered water system to solve crisis, protect environment


The same water system is being constructed in a barangay inside Tiwi town of Albay province.

Co said that the 19th Congress’ House of Representatives, led by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, had allocated P10 billion in 2023 for this exact system, incorporated under the Department of Public Works and Highways.  The system would be based on the one used by the party-list group.

“We can harness the power of renewable energy to ensure efficient water usage and enhance crop productivity in the Bicol Region. We can empower our farmers with sustainable and efficient methods to overcome the challenges posed by El Niño and maximize their agricultural output,” Co said.

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“By promoting responsible water management practices, adopting innovative technologies, and empowering communities, we can enhance our resilience and minimize the impact of El Niño on our farmers and their livelihoods,” he added.

TAGS: Elizaldy Co, Solar power, water system

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