By Charissa Luci-Atienza
In the wake of water rationing in Metro Manila, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte has urged Congress to prioritize the passage of a bill mandating commercial, institutional and residential estate developers to install rainwater retention facilities in their projects in Metro Manila and other major cities.
He sought the passage of House Bill 8088 which seeks the construction of facilities converting harvested rainwater for non-potable uses.
““Rainwater is a free, abundant, and regular natural resource that the Philippines is fortunate to receive year in and out. It is high time that we make use of it for the general advantage of our people,” he said.
Villafuerte batted for the government’s construction of small water-impounding facilities and pumps to help communities retain rainwater for their water needs, citing that in Camarines Sur, public schools have started putting up facilities to retain rainwater.
Under HB 8088, the proposed rainwater retention facilities are expected to capture the rainwater, purify it, and store it for non-potable uses, “thereby effectively reducing the amount of rainwater that submerges Metro Manila roads during the rainy season, as well as feed the demand for water in the cities.”
Villafuerte said his proposal seeks to reduce flooding.
“While Metro Manila is annually drenched with some 20,000 millimeters rainwater, many parts of the metropolis and other major cities are unable to absorb the rainwater they receive,” he said.
He cited that Cebu, Baguio, and Nueva Ecija already started utilizing rainwater for non-potable uses.
HB 8088 provides that no project design or building permit for a new real estate project in Metro Manila and other major cities shall be approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and local government units (LGUs) unless it includes a rainwater retention facility.
The bill requires an owner or developer of a new commercial, institutional and residential development project in Metro Manila and other major cities with an area of at least 1,500 square meters to develop, and maintain at least 3 percent of the total area, exclusive of roads, service streets and alleys, as a rainwater harvesting facility.
Under HB 8088, the owner or developer of an ongoing commercial, institutional, and residential development project in Metro Manila and other major cities that has no existing provision for a rainwater facility is mandated to build the facility within a period of three years from the effectivity of the proposed law.