SENATOR Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday called for the establishment of an agency that will oversee all water-related matters, such as release of water from dams during typhoons so as to avoid a repeat of the devastating floods that hit the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela at the height of Typhoon Ulysses.
In an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s “Headstart”, Pangilinan underscored the need to create an integrated water resource management council to prevent similar catastrophes from happening in the future.
Pangilinan said the council will identify and craft a long-term plan on flooding and other water-related issues such as drinking water supply, irrigation, and hydroelectricity.
“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,” said Pangilinan.
Through this council, various water issues such as flood control, irrigation, and drinking water that are handled by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) will be consolidated under one agency.
“All of these are water management issues and they have to come together, and decide what to do moving forward to address all these water management issues,” Pangilinan emphasized.
The former NIA chairperson said President Duterte can create the council through an executive order and could be headed by Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles with concerned Cabinet Secretaries as members.
“They can come together, decide on the protocols, and come up with common understanding of how we properly manage our water issues,” he said.
Pangilinan recently expressed his intention to file a resolution seeking to investigate the flooding in Cagayan and Isabela due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
The senator wants to investigate if proper protocols on the release of water during typhoons were followed.