MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged all local government units to hasten the processing of necessary permits for water-related projects in order “to expedite their completion and enhance water security.”
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this is to help avert the possible water crisis that may hit parts of the country this year.
“Malaking perhuwisyo para sa ating mga kababayan kapag kulang o walang tubig. Kaya inaatasan ko ang ating mga LGUs na paspasan ang pagpoproseso ng mga kinakailangang permit para sa mga water projects upang maiwasan ang kakulangan sa tubig,”Año said in a statement.
In Memorandum Circular No. 2019-207, the DILG chief also called on local government officials to make the necessary preparations and extend support to start the water-related projects in their areas such as human resources, access roads to location, and availability of materials.
Section 17 of the Local Government Code mandates LGUs to exercise appropriate powers and discharge functions for the efficient and effective provision of basic services and facilities.
“Sa mga panahong ito na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakakaranas na ng kakulangan sa tubig, kailangan na nating magtulungan at mabilis na aksyunan na ng mga LGUs ang mga water permits para masimulan at matapos na ang mga water projects sa kanilang lugar,”he said.
In March last year, thousands of residents in Metro Manila experienced water crisis due to the drop in water levels at Angat Dam which supplies water to Metro Manila and Central Luzon areas.
Water levels in Angat Dam even reached the critical level of 160 meters despite the onset of the rainy season last year which prompted the further reduction of water allocation.
Angat Dam water levels have since improved due to rains brought about by recent typhoons entering the country but is still below the target normal operating level of 212 meters.
As of 6 a.m. January 2, Angat Dam’s water level is at 202.60 meters.
“Kung hindi tayo kikilos ngayon, lalala pa ang problema natin sa tubig at tayo lang din ang mahihirapan sa bandang huli,” Año said.
Likewise, he encouraged the public to conserve water and to take measures in their respective communities to effectively manage water consumption.
“Magsilbing paalala sa atin lahat na hindi lamang nakasalalay sa gobyerno ang seguridad ng supply ng tubig. Responsibilidad ng bawat isa sa atin ang magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig,” he said.
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