By Mario Casayuran
Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said yesterday it is time for the government to harness the newly-signed Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act to mitigate future water shortage in the country.
‘’With this law, the government will be able to streamline the permitting process of hydroelectric power projects, which will in turn pave the way for the immediate construction of hydroelectric dams that can be used for multiple purposes, such as reservoirs for the daily water need of households, agricultural irrigation, flood control, and recreation,’’ he said.
Gatchalian issued the statement as the water crisis continues to grip several areas of Metro Manila.
‘’In the past, the bureaucratic labyrinth that developers of run-of-river hydro plants have to go through takes around 1,340 days, or more than three and a half years, to complete. I expect that the tedious permitting processes that most hydro plant developers undergo will now be shortened to half the usual time,’’ Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate energy and economic affairs committees, stressed.
With the implementation of EVOSS authored by Gatchalian, ‘’we are hitting two birds with one stone – we are not only ensuring the country’s energy security but also ensuring that there will be water flowing in the taps of every household,’’ he added.