December 8, 2023

The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) said the government is pushing for the Patubig sa Buong Bayan at Mamamayan (PBBM) legacy projects to ensure an efficient, sustainable and uninterrupted water service all throughout the country.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, LWUA Administrator Vicente Homer Revil said the PBBM legacy projects would be in response to the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to give a “special focus” on improving water security in the Philippines.

Revil said the legacy projects would be implemented until 2028, which would include 700 water supply projects and 40 sanitation projects.

“Mayroon po tayong more than 700 water and sanitation projects to our people at ito po ay plano nating gawin in the next five years, until 2028, para po tugunan natin ang patawag ni President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. na magbigay ng water security for our people,” Revil said.

He added they will also operate water districts to provide water supply in various cities or municipalities.

“Mag-o-operate po tayo ng mga water district, iyong mga non-operational at iko-cover po natin iyong iba pang munisipyo at mga siyudad sa ating bansa, dahil sa kasalukuyan ay mayroon na lang tayong coverage na 648 cities and municipalities throughout our country,” Revil said.

During his second SONA, Marcos said efforts to enhance water security should be “cohesive, centralized, and systematic” rather than “scattershot”.

He said the Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) was created to synergize efforts to address water security challenges and specifically handle the “delicate job involving this most precious resource.”

The newly created WRMO integrates the functions of all agencies with water-related mandates to effectively manage the country’s water resources and achieve water security.

The WRMO, created under Executive Order 22, is under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Marcos said he has already coordinated with Congress to pass a measure to create the Department of Water Resource Management to be tasked to implement necessary policy and resource reforms concerning the management of all water resources including irrigation, sewage, and sanitation.

He said around P14.6 billion has been allocated for water supply projects this year, which will benefit communities nationwide. – PNA