TWO committees of the House of Representatives have approved the proposal to create the Department of Water Resources (DWR).
The House Committees on Government Reorganization, and Public Works and Highways passed an unnumbered bill that will consolidate 35 measures seeking to establish the government agency.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the technical working group, presented the bill to the joint panel led by Batangas Rep. Mario Marino and Pangasinan Rep. Ramon Guico, respectively.
Under the consolidated measure, the proposed DWR will be the primary national agency responsible for the comprehensive and integrated planning, policy formulation and management of water resources in the Philippines.
It will work alongside the National Water Resources Board comprising the core organization and establish a National Framework for Water Resource Management.
The bill will also consolidate the functions of key water agencies to be transferred to the department. These are the River Basin Control Office, Manila Bay Coordinating Office of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Flood Management Planning and Sediment Functions of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Water Supply Sanitation Unit of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Water Quality Management Section of the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR.
The Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, Local Water Utilities Administration, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, and National Irrigation Administration will be attached to the new Department as an infrastructure arm.
The DWR may create subsidiaries, instrumentalities and entities to engage in water-related programs, projects and activities. Concession agreements and other contracts for water supply provision shall also remain valid and in force unless invalidated.