By Mario Casayuran
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile Thursday urged the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to seek more sources of water supply for the growing number of Filipinos living in the greater Metro Manila area.
“Ngayon na ramdam na ramdam na natin ang El Niño at dapat naghahanda na rin tayo sa mga posibleng epekto ng climate change, hindi na dapat tayo umaasa sa iisang suplay ng tubig lamang,” he said. (As we are now feeling the El Nino phenomenon, we should be preparing for the negative effects of climate change. We should not be dependent on one supply of water alone.)
This as the 95-year-old lawmaker joined Thursday lawmakers in calling for a probe into the alleged mismanagement by Manila Water, the water concessionaire, on the current water shortage in a big portion of the Metro Manila area.
“Dapat lamang na imbestigahan itong water crisis. Bakit sa concession area lamang ng Manila Water ang krisis? Ano na ang ginagawa nila upang maibsan ang hirap na dinaranas ng karaniwang mga mamamayan na wala namang tanke o ibang mapagkukunan ng tubig?” Enrile asked. (There is a need for a congressional probe into the water shortage. Why is the concession area of Manila Water the only one that is feeling the water shortage? What is the concessionaire doing to alleviate the pain of water consumers in the concession area. They do not have water tankers or other sources of water.)
Lawmakers from the Lower House are set to conduct an inquiry into the water crisis on March 18 (Monday) while the Senate public services committee will conduct its own probe on March 19 (Tuesday).
Enrile, 95, a member of Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP), is seeking a fifth term in the 24-member Senate.
He` rallied suman and kasuy vendors and other local supporters in Antipolo on Thursday during his campaign in the city that is known for its art galleries, a waterfall and native Filipino delicacies.
Enrile started his sortie at the Ynares Gym and then proceeded to the provincial capitol for a courtesy call with former Gov. Ito Ynares and Mayor Jun Ynares.
He hopped on his motorcade to greet supporters around the city and down to Cogeo via Sumulong Highway.
Antipolo is part of Manila Water’s concession area which is now in a water crisis.