Article courtesy of Sun.Star | July 13, 2015 | Sun.Star | Shared as educational material
ANGELES CITY — “The recent Iloilo City water crisis was a wake-up call to our government. The water shortage they experienced is alarming, and supporting studies show that the entire country might experience this feared shortage of water supply. It is time that we act.”
Thus said Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan as he delivered his welcome address for the 10th National Annual Convention of the Water Environment Association of the Philippines, Inc. (WEAP) held on Thursday inside Clark Freeport.
WEAP is a non-profit organization that provides information and tools to address water environment protection and preservation in the country.
The mayor shared the programs and interventions the local government has established to address the issue.
“Since 2010, we have been conceptualizing and implementing programs in order to anticipate and mitigate the crisis. With our strong ties with the private sector, we have planted 200,000 trees around the city and continue to develop the Sapangbato watershed,” Pamintuan said.
The mayor also plans to call on government stakeholders and partners in the private sector for a water summit, so that the city can formulate a proper response towards the impending water crisis.
For its part, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) strictly enforces Ordinance 343 or the Water Quality Septage Management System Ordinance of Angeles City. Passed in 2014, the ordinance ensures that the city is able to utilize and manage local water resources in a sustainable manner. It also allows the city government to issue citation tickets and fines to violators, including citizens and/or businesses who indiscriminately throw their garbage or waste in any of the city’s waterways.
The city also partnered with various organizations and civic groups for the monthly clean up of the city’s major waterways, including Sapang Balen.
Cenro also constantly tests the city’s local water sources for cleanliness and potability.
According to Greenpeace.org, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Philippines reported that, after sampling 127 freshwater bodies in the country, only 47 percent were found to have good water quality.
However, 40 percent of those sampled were found to have only fair water quality, while 13 percent showed poor water quality. Additionally, 50 of the 421 rivers in the Philippines are already considered “biologically dead.”
Central Luzon is also one of the regions identified by the Philippine Environment Monitor and the EMB that had unsatisfactory ratings for their water quality criteria. (AC-CIO)