• NWRB starts review of Water Code, sets more consultations

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    THE National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has started the review the country’s Water Code.

    As part of the move, Elenito Bagalihog, NWRB officer in charge, said that the agency started a consultative meeting on the proposal to review the Water Code of the Philippines.

    During the meeting, some of the important issues raised include the merging of the mandates of the National Water Resources Management Office in the code; the River Basin Control Office to form River Basin Organizations all over the country; taking into consideration pertinent provisions in the Local Government Code; and further review of the proposed title of the code.

    In his presentation, Water Code Review Committee Chairman Juan Corpuz Jr. cited the background and highlights of the Water Code review. These include renaming the Water Code into National Water Security Act of 2013; incorporation of the principles of the Integrated Water Resources Management and Climate Change Adaptation; and institutionalization of the river-basin approach in water resource management.

    Also includes is the incorporation of the Public Service Law concerning the regulation of water service providers and sewerage system operators; setting aside a portion of the NWRB income to be used for water resources management; and increase in penalties for violations of the law.

    The consultative meeting was participated in by the representatives from the Lower House, Senate, Cooperative Development Authority, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Water Partnership and Philippine Water Resources Management Fund Follow-up Program.

    Also participating were representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-River Basin Control Office; Department of Public Works and Highways; Agham party-list; and National Anti-Poverty Commission.

    Meanwhile, the first Multi-Stakeholders Consultative Workshop on the Review of the Water Code will be conducted on Thursday in Lipa City, Batangas.

    Expected participants are representatives from various related government agencies, nongovernment organizations, local government units, water districts, civil society organizations, the academe and the private sector.

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