Press Release
February 19, 2010


Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today expressed concern on the supply of potable water in the provinces that are affected by the El Nino phenomenon saying that the government should also give attention to the basic needs of the people in Cagayan Valley , where drought hits the hardest.

According to Revilla, about 80 percent of the residents in the countryside have no access to safe and clean drinking water. "Ironically, the Philippines is a water-rich country and yet we cannot supply our people with adequate water. Through an improved water utility system, economic growth in a community speeds up, safeguards public health, and protects the well-being of the citizenry," he said.

The reelectionist senator pointed out that the country is always caught off-guard whenever there is El Nino phenomenon. Among the areas recently hit by El Niño are provinces of Cagayan Valley - particularly Isabela, which was placed under the state of calamity -, Pangasinan in Ilocos Region and some parts of Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon . "Our country is facing a food security problem. It would be worse if we can not even provide potable drinking water. It is doubly hard for the residents here in these provinces because they need water for their use and for their farmlands," he said.

Revilla stressed the need to pass his bill that would provide funds for the Local Water Utility Administration (LWUA) purposely to install facilities in the countryside that will manage and supply water. The LWUA is a specialized lending institution mandated by law to promote and oversee the development of provincial waterworks systems in the country.

He explained that the long-term benefits can be derived by communities in the provinces for having a water district, not only in addressing dry spell season but also on the aspect of health and sanitation. "Water users are provided a first line of defense against water-borne diseases such as amoebiasis and typhoid fever since only disinfected and potable water is made available to every concessioner's home. Residents from far flung villages in the rural areas would no longer face the risk of fetching and using water from community wells and springs that may be unsafe," the lawmaker said.

Revilla went last Tuesday (February 16) to Nueva Ecija as part of his "Pinoy Ikaw ang Idol ko" Luzon caravan. He expressed alarm on the thousands of hectares of rice lands that will go to waste if the government fails to address the water problem in the province.

News Latest News Feed