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EO sought for NWRB transformation

The National Economic Development Authority is renewing the push for Malacañang to issue an executive order that will transform and strengthen the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) into a National Water Management Council (NWMC).

This is seen as a short-term measure toward water security in the Philippines as the Neda and other agencies that prepared the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 call on Congress to create a Department of Water and a Water Regulatory Commission.

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Neda Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said in a briefing this was also part of the Duterte administration’s strategy when in comes to water resources.

“The strategy is to pursue institutional reforms such as streamlining processes involved in agencies to encourage and guide investments in water supply, sewerage and sanitation,” Navarro said.

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According to Neda and private-sector experts in the water supply and sanitation sector, there are at least 32 agencies that are involved in the management and regulation of this industry.

Navarro said enhancing the NWRB into the NWMC was a measure the government could take pending the enactment of a proposed law for the creation of an “apex body” and the economic regulatory agency for the water sector.

“This measure may be implemented without the need for legislative action that is via an executive order,” she said.

“The aim is to strengthen the power of the NWRB and providing it with additional manpower and financial resources,” she added.

The need for an EO to reconfigure the NWRB has been raised last year but no such order has been issued yet.

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TAGS: Business, National Water Management Council (NWMC), National Water Resources Board (NWRB)
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