LWUA seeks creation of water department.
For faster, simpler, and more efficient delivery of services, a single agency should handle all aspects of providing safe drinking water to Filipinos nationwide.
This was pointed out by Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) acting administrator Jeci Lapus during a recent interview on national television. Lapus explained that at present, one has to go through various agencies to secure permission to put up a water facility in different parts of the country.
Lapus said that aside from LWUA, which is mandated to provide clean water outside Metro Manila, other regulators also step in when it comes to water issues. These include the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and the National Irrigation Authority (NIA). This is aside from local government units and private firms such as Maynilad Water Service and Manila Water Co.
'It gets confusing because of the many agencies you have to deal with, resulting in conflicts,' Lapus said.
To cut red tape and streamline the process, Lapus said the creation of a Department of Water, Irrigation, Sewerage, and Sanitation - which would consolidate and focus on all aspects of water provision - would be the best solution to reach out to the millions of households all over the country that are still lacking water connections.
Lapus pointed out that the government has separate departments for energy, environment, transportation, etc. 'It would be good to have a single entity that would focus on (water related) health and environment concerns,' Lapus said.