Press Release
April 14, 2010

Legarda pushes for the immediate implementation of the Clean Water Act

NP-NPC-LDP Vice Presidential candidate Senator Loren Legarda today presented water scarcity as a crucial issue before the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) forum for vice-presidential candidates, and pushed for the full and immediate implementation of the Clean Water Act.

"Water scarcity is a very real problem that confronts us today. We see it in the news, as more reports of declining harvests and damages to crops get reported. We feel it when we go to the market and buy our fruits and vegetables at higher prices. And it has even reached our homes, through less water flow and worse, no water at all in some houses," Legarda said.

"The lack of access to clean, potable water, however, has long been a quiet killer in the country. Thirteen million Filipinos have no access to piped water, relying instead on creek water and deep wells," Legarda said.

Legarda warned of health issues that are connected to using dirty water, such diarrhea, typhoid and cholera. "More than a third of the illnesses in the Philippines is water-borne, and will more likely to hit the poor who cannot afford clean water," Legarda said.

"We have to start using our water resources the proper way, bearing in mind that it is a finite resource," Legarda said.

Legarda called for the full implementation of the Clean Water Act. Passed in 2004, The Clean Water Act provides for the establishment of multi-sectoral governing boards that manage the quality of water in local river bodies and other water resources. It penalizes acts of polluting water resources, such as disposing of or introducing pollutants in rivers or injecting or allowing them to enter the soil and pollute ground water.

She also pushed for extending water access in the rural areas, and finding alternative sources of potable water.

"A lot of our provinces have areas which do not have access to clean water. And it's a double whammy for them, given that water is also a health issue. Some of the things we can do to address this is by installing desalination facilities, and establishing rainwater harvesting systems," Legarda said.

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