March 21, 2019

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) convened over 200 experts in the country to discuss the pressing concerns on Philippines’ water security in Novotel Hotel, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

In his message, DENR Undersecretary Rodolfo Garcia highlighted that the aim of the national summit is “to adopt strategies and technologies and find solutions to sustain our water resources for future generations.”

He mentioned the water situation being experienced in Metro Manila and in some parts of the country which all boil down to the need for and importance of water. Given this, he stated several measures to address the challenges that the sector is currently facing. Among these are the updating of antiquated data on water and the heightened monitoring of water quality management areas (WQMAs).

Usec. Garcia also pronounced the need to adhere to the proposal of crafting policies on rainwater harvesting and floodwater management. It is specially recommended in the agriculture sector as the establishment of rainwater harvesting facilities will help in irrigation.

The strengthening of the water regulatory environment is also discussed by the undersecretary. He instructed NWRB to thoroughly review the existing permits and to continuously improve the water permitting system.

He reminded that all of us must work hand-in-hand to help resolve the challenges in the water sector. “All of us must work together to achieve our goals. After all, this is not just for our country and our people. This is for us and the people dear to us – because we all need water” Usec. Garcia concluded.

The National Water Summit caps the several pre-summit consultations in Davao (May 21, 2017), Bohol (June 6, 2017), Pampanga (July 5, 2017) and Quezon City (July 12, 2017). Seven sectors were constituted out of these pre-summits and national summit namely agriculture, environment, economic, domestic, urban, resilience and governance. Each sector has recommendations which will be prioritized to ensure water security across the country.