Probe sought on poor ex­e­cu­tion of rain­wa­ter collection law

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

Amid parched con­di­tions in Metro Manila and 71 prov­inces, Suri­gao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pi­mentel wants Congress to in­ves­ti­gate what he called “the life­less per­for­mance” of a 30-year-old law that re­quires the in­stal­la­tion of rain­wa­ter col­lec­tors in all barangays.

“We ac­tu­ally have a 1989 statute that calls for the con­struc­tion of rain­wa­ter har­vesters in all barangays. But it seems that the ex­e­cu­tion of the law has been want­ing,” Pi­mentel said, re­fer­ring to the Rain­wa­ter Col­lec­tor and Springs Devel­op­ment Law, or Repub­lic Act 6715.

“Congress has to as­cer­tain the fac­tors hold­ing up the law’s ag­gres­sive op­er­a­tion, and fix the prob­lem right away –whether it is sim­ply due to lack of fund­ing or other is­sues,” Pi­mentel sai d .

Sec­tion 2 of the law states: “The Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways shall, within 30 days af­ter the ap­proval of this Act, un­der­take the con­struc­tion of wa­ter wells, rainwa- ter col­lec­tors, devel­op­ment of springs and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of ex­ist­ing wa­ter wells in all barangays in the Philip­pines in such num­ber as may be needed and fea­si­ble, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the pop­u­la­tion, hy­dro­logic con­di­tions, costs of project devel­op­ment and op­er­a­tions, fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic fac­tors and in­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments.”

Pi­mentel cited the need for com­mu­ni­ties coun­try­wide to rou­tinely hoard rain­wa­ter dur­ing the wet sea­son for use dur­ing arid con­di­tions.

At present, Metro Manila and 40 prov­inces are reel­ing from a “dry spell,” ac­cord­ing to the Philip­pine At­mo­spheric, Geo­phys­i­cal and Astro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion (PAGASA).

Ar­eas are un­der a dry spell have had “three con­sec­u­tive months of be­low nor­mal rain­fall (or 21 to 60 per­cent re­duc­tion from av­er­age), or two con­sec­u­tive months of way be­low nor­mal rain­fall (or greater than 60 per­cent re­duc­tion from aver age) .”

In Lu­zon, the 24 prov­inces un­der a dry spell are Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao, Moun­tain Prov­ince, Pan­gasi­nan, Ca­gayan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pam­panga, Tar­lac, Zam­bales, Batan­gas, Cavite, La­guna, Que­zon, Marinduque, Romblon, Al­bay, Ca­marines Norte, Ca­marines Sur, Catan­d­u­anes, Mas­bate and Sor­so­gon.

In the Visayas, the 11 prov­inces un­der a dry spell are Ak­lan, An­tique, Capiz, Iloilo, Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, Ne­gros Oriental, Bili­ran, East­ern Sa­mar, Leyte, North­ern Sa­mar and Sa­mar (Western Sa­mar).

In Min­danao, the five prov­inces un­der a dry spell ar: Zam­boanga del Norte, Misamis Oc­ci­den­tal, Di­na­gat Is­lands, Suri­gao del Norte and Tawi-Tawi.

Ac­cord­ing to a PAGASA as­sess­ment, 31 other prov­inces are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ei­ther “drought” or a “dry con­di­tion.”

Drought means “three con­sec­u­tive months of way be­low nor­mal rain­fall (greater than 60 per­cent re­duc­tion from av­er­age), or five con­sec­u­tive months of be­low nor­mal rain­fall (or 21 to 60 per­cent re­duc­tion from av­er­age).”

The 10 prov­inces reel­ing from drought are: Ilo­cos Norte, Ilo­cos Sur, La Union, Oc­ci­den­tial Min­doro, Oriental Min­doro, Palawan, Zam­boanga del Sur, Zam­boanga Sibugay, Maguin­danao and Sulu.

The 21 prov­inces ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dry con­di­tion, or two con­sec­u­tive months of be­low nor­mal rain­fall, are: Ifu­gao, Is­abela, Nueva Viz­caya, Quirino, Bu­la­can, Aurora, Rizal, Guimaras, Bo­hol, Cebu, Siqui­jor, South­ern Leyte, Bukid­non, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Com­postela Val­ley, Agu­san del Norte, Agu­san del Sur, Basi­lan and Lanao del Sur.

Mean­while, Pi­mentel urged lo­cal gov­ern­ments to re­quire large wa­ter users, such as malls, of­fice build­ings and golf cour­ses, to in­stall their own rain­wa­ter col­lec­tors. (Press Re­lease)

— Chris Navarro

PYRO SHOW. Thou­sands en­joyed the spec­tac­u­lar fire­works dis­play dur­ing Satur­day’s Philip­pine In­ter­na­tional Py­ro­mu­si­cal Com­pe­ti­tion at SM City Clark. The spec­ta­tors wit­nessed the pyro show be­tween China and Canada.

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