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4:31 pm on 8 December 2022, Thursday
By Patricia Francia Lachica
House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed House Bill 482, proposing the creation of the Department of Water, Irrigation, Sewage, and Sanitation Resource Management to address the “looming water supply backlog and worsening sanitation issues” in the Philippines.
“The Philippine government's responsibility to safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and irrigation service to the public is of utmost importance, and it is attainable through well-coordinated, effective, efficient and sustainable management of its water and sanitation resources,” said Arroyo.
According to Water.org, a non-profit organization that delivers safe and accessible sanitation worldwide, around three million Filipinos rely on “unsafe and unsustainable water sources,” and seven million “lack access to improved sanitation.”
“At present, management of water sources is lodged with different units or agencies of the government. Thereby resulting in poor coordination or even conflicts in the implementation of the national policies and plans on water, sewage, sanitation, and irrigation,” added the lawmaker.
The former president then claimed that under her administration, the government provided 136,477 agricultural lands from irrigation projects and restored over 1.3 million hectares of farmland.