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ECCP supports the Creation of Water Resources Management Office in Phl

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Cognizant of the water security of the country, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines welcomes the creation of the Water Resources Management Office as a transitory body pending the creation of a Water Resource Department.

Below is the full statement of ECCP:

In line with our long-standing advocacy of attaining water security in the Philippines, the Chamber has long called for the creation of an apex body to lead the crafting and implementation of policies and initiatives for the Philippine water sector, as well as streamline institutions to further facilitate ease of doing business in the set sector.

This agency is envisioned to lay down the overarching policies and perform functions relative to the integrated management of water resources with the end goal of achieving water security for the country. The creation of the WRMO is a welcome first step in fully realizing this as it aims to strengthen collaboration among various agencies in implementing water management programs in accordance with the Integrated Water Management Plan to be crafted by the said agency.

On a similar note, it is imperative to approach Water Resources Planning using Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). The IWRM is an internationally recognized framework that is used to guide countries on their journey to water security. It is based on the idea that water issues should not be approached in isolation, but rather in a more holistic manner due to the interdependence of the uses of finite water resources.

We remain committed to working with the government and other stakeholders in resolving the current water-related issues in the country. The ECCP, together with its Environment and Water Committee strongly advocates for regular multi-stakeholder engagement to be institutionalized in order to allow exchange of insights, facilitates coordination and come up with effective solution on water-related issues. In this light, we highly encourage that the Multistakeholder Advisory Panel be established under the WRMO with representation from the private sectors, academe, and civil society to serve as an additional soundboard for the said office in the crafting and implementation of policies, programs and projects for the water sector in line with the IWRM’s principle of participatory governance.

This enduring structural reform will hopefully provide more synergy with public-private partnership as it leads and encourages the establishment of investment technology benchmarking and sharing of best practices resulting in the improvement of the water sector and for the benefit of our people. The Chamber will continue to monitor the developments on the creation of WRMO and we look forward to learning more information about the office to see how we can work together to achieve our shared advocacy.

To end, the ECCP reiterates its calls to finally legislate an overseeing body for the said sector which has long been overdue. We believe that having an executive water department task to harmonize and monitor all water-related efforts will provide strategic direction which would not only help in solving water scarcity in the country but will also aid the establishment and operations of businesses as well as attract new investors. We hope that the current interests from the government will be sustained and bring much-needed changes in the water sector into fruition.

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