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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Aquino urged to declare state of calamity in Metro Manila
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, MRS-PRIB
21 July 2010 11:45:21 AM

Lawmakers today urged President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino to declare a state of calamity in Metro Manila to address the water shortage.

Rep. Maria Carmen Z. Apsay (1st District, Compostela Valley) said the declaration of a state of calamity is an option that the President may take to mobilize all prerogatives available to the government to address the water crisis in some parts of Luzon.

Apsay and Reps. Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina) and Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela) also urged the government to adopt a long-term and more sustainable measure to address the water.

Apsay said more importantly, concerned government agencies should act decisively to prevent the crisis from becoming nationwide.

"Action plan towards mitigating effects of climate change should already be put in play as we are clearly experiencing the effects of global warming," Apsay said.

Apsay stressed that a drying up dam resulting in a water crisis despite Typhoon Basyang on one hand and landslides caused by flooding on the other is alarming and it needs immediate action from the executive with the expected cooperation from the legislature.

Teodoro said the low water level in Angat dam is extremely alarming at this point as the rationing of water in Metro Manila is already in place.

Teodoro said there is really no one to blame with this dilemma since this is an act of nature. The efforts of Manila Water in aiding the scarcity of Maynilad are only a short-term solution.

"It maybe effective for some time but there is already a need for the President to declare a state of calamity to strengthen and empower the government agencies concerned," Teodoro stressed.

Teodoro said this will enable the President expedient use of resources in addressing the water crisis.

"The President should intervene to prevent a nationwide water crisis and declaring a state of calamity would be timely with the conditions of our water facilities," Teodoro stated.

However, Ilagan said the state of calamity would only be for Metro Manila. The LGU can declare it and not necessarily the President.

"If for every local concern he intervenes, he would be micromanaging the country," Ilagan said.

In an advisory, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. said among the areas severely affected by water reduction include 22 barangays in Quezon City, 13 barangays in Caloocan City, four barangays in Malabon, four barangays in Valenzuela City, two barangays in Las Pi´┐Żas City and a barangay in Navotas.