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More water sources to be tapped in 5 years

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) aims to classify more water bodies in the next five years as possible potable water source.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said he had been assured by the department’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) that the classification of an additional 183 water bodies will be finished by 2022.

Based on DENR records, a total of 761 water bodies – lakes, rivers, streams and marine waters – have been classified since Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act was enacted in 2004.

Under RA 9275, the DENR has the sole mandate to classify the water bodies across the country.

The DENR said the primary purpose of water classification is “to set goals for water quality and promote management of water bodies, especially those identified as possible drinking water sources.” 

“These water resources need to be protected and managed with care in order for them to supply us with abundant clean water for the foreseeable future,” Cimatu said.

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Cimatu said included in the classification procedure is the identification of the bodies’ water quality and their suitable uses. He said the DENR is also tasked to come up with the “criteria” necessary to protect and control the use of water.

“Clean water is a significant, and often undervalued, resource. It is important for many reasons, including human health, food security, healthy wildlife and habitats, fishing, bathing and other recreational activities,” Cimatu said.

“It is therefore necessary that we protect and improve the quality of our water resources,” he said.– With Rhodina Villanueva

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