THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said it supports the establishment of an advisory panel to the Water Resource Management Office (WRMO), which it hopes will result in seamless cooperation with the private sector in developing water projects.
“This interim structural reform will hopefully provide more synergy with public-private partnerships (PPPs) as it leads and encourages the establishment of investments, technology, benchmarking, and sharing of best practices resulting to the improvement of the water sector and for the benefit of our people,” the ECCP said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We highly encourage that a multistakeholder advisory panel be established under the WRMO with representation from the private sector, academics, and civil society to serve as an additional sounding board for the said office in the crafting and implementation of policies, programs and projects for the water sector in line with the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) principle of participatory governance,” the ECCP said.
The ECCP said that the government should also consider using the IWRM principles for water resource planning.
“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,” the ECCP said.
Earlier this month, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved the creation of the WRMO as an arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The PCO said that the WRMO will serve as a transitory body pending the creation of a Water Resources department. The main functions of the WRMO include creating and ensuring the implementation of the Integrated Water Management Plan that will harmonize the plans of various agencies.
“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,” the ECCP said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave