Cebu News

Water resources authority pushed

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  A proposed ordinance that aims to create the Provincial Water Resources Authority (PWRA) whose task is to enhance the preservation and maximization of the water resources in Cebu province is being pushed before the Provincial Board.

The proponent of the measure, Atty. John Ismael Borgonia, PB member representing third district, said in the draft ordinance that the PWRA will oversee the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this Code in the Province of Cebu.

Under the proposal, the powers and functions of the PWRA shall include, but shall not limit to, the formulation and establishment of a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop all water resources to include the bulk water supply system in the island of Cebu, as well as to determine and establish areas that can be efficient source for local water utilization and for bulk water supply from a municipality, city, or a cluster of local government units for any part of the province.

To add, it shall also prescribe rules and regulations governing the utilization and distribution of water and the creation of water utilities and transmission lines among component municipalities and cities of the province covering water distribution projects.

Aside from the creation of the Water Resources Authority, the proposed ordinance, which is titled as the “Water Code of the Province of Cebu of 2022,” also aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

Furthermore, it shall also adopt and establish rules governing the appropriation, utilization, conservation, protection and distribution of water resources in the province.

Bulk water distribution of water to all parts of the island of Cebu might also be possible should the ordinance be approved by the Board.

The ordinance also aims to assist and aid all component local government units in the establishment, development and operation of local water utilities.

Likewise, it aims to ensure that all water-related activities and undertakings by both the government and private sector in the Province of Cebu will be in compliance with the Clean Water Act, adopting and implementing plans for protection, conservation and rehabilitation of watersheds including identified recharge points based on the river basin approach.

It is stated in the draft ordinance that the usage of water will be directed for the following: agriculture, energy, water supply, commercial, tourism, transportation, and environment.

Development of surface water resources as the main source of water supply will also be given priority by the Province of Cebu.

Conservation of the ground water sources and regulation of its further use and exploitation will also be pursued.

As for its appropriation, an initial amount of two million pesos shall be appropriated for the operation of the Water Resources Authority of the Province of Cebu.

The said budget shall be included in the Annual Budget of the Province of Cebu if applicable.

The ordinance is already referred to the concerned committee. — Rubie Mae T. Sollano and Chiel Martina Y. Condor, JMD (FREEMAN)

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