Senator Pia Cayetano calls for improvement of RP’s water management system

In this year’s celebration of International World Water Day, Senate Youth Committee Chair Senator Pia Cayetano reiterated a call to action on the Declaration of Commitment to Policy Action on Water and Sanitation.

“Water is essential to life. Without water, life is not possible,” stressed Sen. Cayetano. Beyond meeting basic human needs, water is critical for sustainable development. It is a big requirement in food and energy production, industry function, and an integral part of transport systems.

According to Sen. Cayetano, the Philippines has abundant water resource. "However, ironically, 250 out of 1600 communities in the country do not have access to clean water."

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that safe drinking water is not accessible to 17 million Filipinos and potable water is limited to 15 percent of the rural communities in the country due to meager income.

“This year’s International World Water Day celebration theme is Water and Food Security. Its aim is to produce more food using less water, reduce food wastage and losses, and move towards more sustainable diets,” informed Sen. Cayetano.

Food production requires water, from crop or livestock production, inland fisheries or aquaculture and forests. Water security safeguards food security. In the Philippines, the agriculture sector consumes 85 percent of water while industry and households use up 15 percent as stated in the United Nations World Water Development Report. “The rapidly increasing demand for rice which is projected to grow to about 16 million tons by the year 2025 or about 60 percent more than the present supply indicates the need to increase total irrigated area but is impeded by the shortage in water supply,” said Sen. Cayetano.

To show continuous support in this advocacy, Senator Cayetano proposed to strengthen the institutional capacity and streamline overlapping functions of agencies in charge of water resources for strict implementation of existing legislations. She added, “We should allocate sustainable budget to support pending legislations in advocating improvements in this sector and ensure public accountability of water service providers. We should tap and access available technologies that would help us improve our water management system.”

Importantly, Sen. Cayetano called for individual efforts to support this cause. She said, “We should try to conserve water in any small way we can. We should maximize the use of water by reusing it in different ways – what you used to wash your clothes can be used to clean the bathroom or flush your toilet.”