The online news portal of TV5
JARO, Iloilo City - President Benigno Aquino III said he is reviewing a proposal from Public Works chief Rogelio Singson to create a body to manage all natural water resources in the Philippines.
At the closing ceremony of the 1st Philippine International River Summit in Iloilo City, Aquino said the proposal is part of a comprehensive water plan being prepared by Singson, earlier also designated by the President as the country's water czar.
The President stressed the need to increase forest cover in river basins to prevent massive flooding. He called for government's strengthened partnership with the private sector in managing and preserving the country's water resources.
The chairman of the PLDT group of companies, Manuel V. Pangilinan, on Thursday had made the same point in a speech delivered on his behalf at the River Summit by Philex Mining SVP Michael Toledo: that public and private sector collaboration is crucial to saving the country's rivers and water resources.
Pangilinan is also chairman of TV5, for which InterAksyon.com is the online news portal.
He cited the initiative of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in partnering with 272 private firms and individuals to adopt 186 esteros and bodies of water, which brought in private resources and manpower in the difficult and costly task of cleaning up and maintaining waterways. "Collaboration is key if we want to succeed," the President said.
The Iloilo summit, which had a theme of "My River, My Life," dwelled on four issues: governance, biodiversity conservation and management, climate change and disaster risk reduction management and water quality management.
The outcome of the two-day summit, called the Iloilo Declaration, will be submitted to the Rio+20 conference on climate change on June 22.