Cops to go after water pilferers

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
Cops to go after water pilferers
Bulacan farmer Raymond dela Cruz checks a portion of a dried rice field at his farm in the Pulilan-Baliuag bypass road yesterday. He said they harvested rice at the farm last December, and should have planted anew in January, but water for irrigation was delayed and only arrived this February.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — As the El Niño phenomenon continues to affect the country, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. has ordered PNP units to intensify their operations against water pilferage.

“We are ready to support water companies in investigating cases of water pilferage. As an organization, we have a zero-tolerance policy toward such illegal activities,” Acorda said as he noted existing PNP policies on energy and water conservation.

“Even during times of El Niño, our existing policies on energy and water conservation remain in place. We will intensify these efforts to ensure that our resources are used wisely,” he added.

In addition to addressing water pilferage, Acorda also directed regional offices, particularly those in areas with mining activities, to intensify efforts against irresponsible mining and illegal logging.

He emphasized the importance of combating activities that contribute to environmental degradation, which can exacerbate problems associated with El Niño.

“We must work together to protect our environment and conserve our natural resources,” Acorda said.

Water use ordinances

Meanwhile, Metro Manila Council president Francis Zamora yesterday suggested that local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region implement their ordinances to regulate water use during El Niño.

Zamora said over dzBB that steps are already being taken to address the impact of El Niño and conserve water resources in Metro Manila.

These steps include the possibility of having the LGUs persuade or even prohibit Metro Manila residents from using their inflatable pools while El Niño continues. Also considered is the establishment of water catchment areas across the metropolis to maximize the use of rainwater.

“In our homes, we can set up in such a way that, from the roofs, the water will flow through the gutters to the (collection) drums,” Zamora said.

“We really need to have discipline so that we don’t waste water,” he added.

In Looc town in Occidental Mindoro’s Lubang Island, Mayor Marlon dela Torre is appealing for rice assistance from the government.

“The sad reality is that we are the producer (of rice, and yet,) we will have nothing to eat because of the effects of El Niño. We need rice supply as we have a shortage in the supply,” Dela Torre said. — Bella Cariaso

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