Pangilinan urges public to be rain catchers

Flooded streets when it rains and empty taps are ironies of daily life that Filipinos face, especially in Metro Manila. Senator Francis Pangilinan’s bill on rainwater management is offering a solution.

Senate Bill No. 36 proposes to pass a law on the “management, control, regulation and utilization of rainwater runoff, and the improvement of ecological characteristics of catchments to address flooding and water supply needs in urban and rural centers.”

“It is the objective of this bill to conserve rainwater as well as reduce its runoff,” Pangilinan said.

“Sa panukalang batas na ito, nilalayon na magamit ang tubig-ulan sa patubig sa lungsod at kanayunan, sa groundwater recharge, sa pagpatay ng sunog, at iba pang pinaggamitan ng tubig, tulad ng pagdilig ng mga halaman, pag-flush ng toilet, at paglilinis ng mga kotse at paligid, at iba pa,” Pangilinan said.

(“This bill provides that rainwater will be used for urban and rural irrigation, groundwater recharge, firefighting, and non-potable water supply source, such as watering plants, flushing of toilet and washing of cars and floor yards, among others.”)

The bill requires all land owners or developers of proposed commercial, industrial, and residential development or any residential multi-dwelling units of more than 1,000-square-meter land area to submit a Rainwater Management Plan (RWP) as part of the site development application and approval process.

The RMP shall look into the topographic map of the area; location of natural waterways including banks and streams; normal shoreline, coastlines, natural depression of flows; and the discharge and volume of flows.

The bill also pitched for a Rainwater Management System, which shall study the flood density in areas and manage rainwater runoff onsite and offsite, and provide facility to regulate the increased rainwater runoff.

The following are the specific utilization of rainwater and the recommended facility to harness its volume for intended use:

· Rainwater for rural irrigation

· Rainwater for urban irrigation such as yard irrigation

· Rainwater for groundwater discharge

· Rainwater for firefighting

· Rainwater for non-potable water supply source such as watering of plants, washing of cars or floor yards, flushing of toilet, fish ponds

· Rainwater for ecological requirements

The Department of Public Works and Highways will be tapped to prepare the rainwater design manual, while the city or municipal engineers shall inspect the facilities under the system, the bill said.

Corresponding penalties will be imposed on persons or companies that will not comply once the measure is passed into law.