DILG and Stakeholders Collaborate to Address Water Shortage Amid El Niño

Children help fill up water containers in Tondo, Manila on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Water shortage in parts of Metro Manila is expected at the onset of the dry season. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN
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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently convened a meeting with stakeholders in Metro Manila to discuss effective strategies for preventing water shortage amidst the El Niño phenomenon. This initiative aims to address the potential challenges posed by the weather pattern and ensure the availability of sufficient water supply for the region.

DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. expressed the department’s commitment to ensuring the cooperation and participation of all sectors. “We at the DILG are exerting all efforts to ensure that all sectors are on board and are cooperating,” Secretary Abalos stated in a press release. The collaborative approach is crucial in effectively managing and mitigating the impact of El Niño on water resources.

During the meeting, DILG Undersecretary Odilon Pasaraba emphasized the significance of implementing a unified ordinance for the issuance of village clearances. This measure would expedite pipe replacement and active leakage repair work, ultimately improving the efficiency of water distribution systems. By streamlining the process, the authorities aim to address potential bottlenecks and ensure the timely completion of necessary infrastructure upgrades.

Recognizing the importance of coordination and cooperation, the stakeholders agreed that effective communication and commitment must be observed among water concessionaires. This collaborative approach will facilitate the implementation of measures aimed at mitigating the effects of El Niño. By working together, water providers can ensure the equitable distribution of water resources and minimize the impact on consumers.

The El Niño phenomenon, declared by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in July 2023, is expected to affect the country. The weather pattern is projected to persist until May, transitioning to El Niño southern oscillation-neutral until June. With this forecast in mind, it becomes imperative for stakeholders to take proactive measures to safeguard the water supply.

The meeting, held over the weekend, brought together various stakeholders, including DILG officials, Liga ng mga Barangay presidents from the National Capital Region, village heads from Makati, Pasay, Parañaque, Manila, and Caloocan, as well as representatives from Maynilad Water Services Inc., Manila Water Co. Inc., Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, and Pagasa. This diverse group of participants underscores the importance of a collaborative approach in addressing the challenges posed by El Niño.

By fostering dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders, the DILG aims to develop a comprehensive strategy that encompasses all aspects of water management. This includes the efficient utilization of water resources, the implementation of infrastructure upgrades, and the adoption of sustainable practices. Through these efforts, the department seeks to ensure the resilience of Metro Manila’s water supply in the face of changing weather patterns.

In conclusion, the recent meeting convened by the DILG serves as a crucial step towards preventing water shortage in Metro Manila amidst the El Niño phenomenon. By fostering collaboration and implementing effective strategies, the stakeholders aim to safeguard the region’s water supply and minimize the impact on consumers. With a unified approach and a commitment to proactive measures, Metro Manila can navigate the challenges posed by El Niño and ensure the availability of sufficient water resources for its residents.

Source: The Manila Times

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