Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 922 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on March 9, 2020 declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines, Memorandum Circular issued by the Executive Secretary on March 16, 2020 placing the entire island of Luzon in Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 17 to April 13, 2020, Resolution No. 14 (S.2020) issued on March 20, 2020 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, which provides for exemptions from the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), specifically [par. I.1.h.8],

wherein supply/delivery of water is included in the exemption from ECQ, and in line with Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which was signed into law on March 24, 2020, authorizing the President to adopt and implement measures to prevent further transmission and spread of COVID-19, particularly “Section 4 (u) authorizes the President to adopt temporary emergency measures to conserve and regulate the distribution and use of power, fuel, energy, and water, and ensure adequate supply of the same (emphasis supplied)” the following are hereby issued:

Section 1. Objective – The purpose of this Circular is to ensure that all water utilities/water service providers shall provide uninterrupted/unhampered supply or delivery of clean and safe water  to individual households, communities, more especially to hospitals and similar facilities, health workers, and other front liners in need of water.

Section 2. Policy - In order to maintain a steady and uninterrupted flow of clean and safe water to individual households, communities, institutions, and other vital establishments, there is a need for the water utility operators to deploy technical personnel and other workers for the operation and maintenance of their waterworks systems.  It is equally necessary for all waterworks operation to procure and maintain stocks (e.g. supplies, chemicals, pumps, tools, equipment, other instruments or implements) used in their day-to-day operation.

Section 3. Guidelines – in attaining the objective of this Circular, the following directives are promulgated:

a.    ALL CONCERNED are hereby requested to ensure that all personnel working for water utilities/service providers shall have unimpeded and/or unhindered access or movement to and from their workplaces, and shall be allowed free passage in the conduct of repair and maintenance of water systems, and in the procurement of supplies, materials, tools and equipment for the operation and proper maintenance of their systems and related facilities, provided, that proper documentation is presented to the authorities.
b.    Personnel or employee/s of water utilities/service providers shall exhibit proper identification of their individual person and employment when requested by proper authority/ies.
c.    In case of purchase/procurement or delivery of goods, supplies, tools, or equipment for waterworks operation, necessitating travel outside of their places of operation or across political boundaries/jurisdiction, proper identification of personnel/employee should be accompanied by an authorization from the company manager or any person having supervision and control over the person being authorized; provided, that the authorization document should clearly and specifically state the purpose for which the travel is undertaken, and the inclusive date or period thereof.
d.    All NWRB officials and personnel shall be accorded free, unimpeded/unhindered movement or access in order for them to act, respond, and perform their duties in ensuring the compliance of water utilities/service providers with the objective of this Circular.
e.    All NWRB officials and personnel, and personnel/employees of water utilities/service providers shall abide by the COVID-19 protocol i.e. social/physical distancing and wearing of mask.
All concerned personnel are hereby requested to render proper assistance at the designated quarantine checkpoints to ensure that the public will have access to safe and reliable water supply.

                DR. SEVILLO D. DAVID, JR., CESO III
               Executive Director