BACOLOD CITY – As El Niño continues to dry up farms across the country, former Senator and Food Security Secretary Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan called for extensive water conservation through water impoundment or “Imbak Tubig” projects.
An average of 20 typhoons visit the Philippines every year, and together with rains during the rainy season, the country gets at least 160 billion cubic meters of rainfall, Pangilinan said.
But only about 30 billion cubic meters are used in the big dams and reservoirs, he said.
“This is a big potential for water recycling especially for our farmers who need about 12,000 cubic meters of irrigation water for every hectare they farm,” he said.
Continuing his advocacy for modernized agriculture as a means to alleviate poverty and to spread the country’s bounty, Pangilinan said he will sponsor the Water Impoundment Act of 2016.
“These Imbak Tubig projects are not only useful in El Niño mitigation, but also in preventing floods that we may have more of with the forecast La Niña later this year,” Pangilinan said.
The Water Impoundment Act aims to build more water systems apart from irrigation systems. Imbak Tubig systems collect and store rainfall and run-off water during the rainy season for future use.