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Legarda Backs Gov’t Flood Control Project thru River Management, Water Agency Laws

June 20, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today highlighted the need for improved governance in addressing the country’s flood woes as she vowed to support the government’s flood control project through legislation.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, noted the statement of Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson that the agency will finish at least 70 of the 90 ongoing flood control projects by the end of the year.

The Senator said that she will support government efforts by proposing at least two measures that will help improve water governance and avert flooding.

“I will file a bill that will put all the water agencies under one body. From what I understand, there are about 30 water agencies now doing their own thing and pointing at each other when there are floods and other problems,” the Senator said.

“I will also re-file the Philippine River Basin System Administration Act which will adopt and institutionalize the Integrated River System Management Approach as a systematic framework in addressing river water management and development,” she added.

A National River Plan will also be developed to provide river administrators with strategies for effective river water management based on changing needs and priorities of the country.

Legarda said that climate change has already aggravated the natural hazards that the country has been experiencing, further worsened by the absence of an institutional framework addressing issues on water resource development which leads to a fragmented and oftentimes conflicted approach in water management.

“With extreme weather events now becoming the new norm, it might be impossible to be completely free from flooding, but that does not mean we are helpless. We must improve governance to avert widespread flooding,” Legarda concluded.