Following the massive flooding that overwhelmed Cagayan and Isabela during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan called for the establishment of a government council to supervise all water-related matters in the country, including the release of water from dams during typhoons.
Pangilinan said that apart from preventing future catastrophes, an integrated water resource management council may also craft a long-term plan on other water-related issues like access to drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectricity.
The senator recommended the consolidation into a single council the water-related tasks of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
“So it’s an integrated approach to managing our water to address the critical need for potable water, irrigation, to address power, and to address flooding. They can come together, decide on the protocols, and come up with a common understanding of how we properly manage our water issues,” said Pangilinan.
He added that President Rodrigo Duterte might create such a council through an executive order and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles can head it, with secretaries of concerned agencies serving as members.