News Release

PBBM directs agencies to fast-track completion of all water projects to address water scarcity

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has directed both the private and public sectors to expedite the completion of all water projects in the Philippines as part of the collective effort to improve water security and address potential water scarcity in the country.

In his speech during the inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project in Davao City on Wednesday, President Marcos said that the construction of the project is a proven approach to combat water scarcity through the joint efforts of the local government and private entities.

The Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project is one of the country’s largest private bulk water supply facilities under the Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. in partnership with the Davao City Water District (DCWD) that taps into the Tamugan River. It aims to shift from Davao City’s dependence on groundwater.

President Marcos acknowledged the Apo Agua of Aboitiz InfraCapital, the DCWD and the local government of Davao for their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in realizing the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project.

He also emphasized that the joint efforts of the public and private sectors in ensuring the protection and conservation of the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed and the management and rehabilitation of the watershed only showed that development can be pursued without compromising the environment.

“Thank you for showing us the deep well of potential that public-private partnerships hold, not just in securing water supply, but also in paving the way for enhanced economic growth, jobs creation, and an improved standards of living for all Filipinos,” President Marcos said.

“What this demonstrates is a proven approach in battling water scarcity, which is no longer a seasonal challenge but a perpetual threat that comes with climate change. It is for this reason that I continually stress the urgency of improving water security, and directed agencies concerned to expedite the completion of all water projects across the country,” he added.

The chief executive underscored the importance of water security as he emphasized that any disruption to the water supply degrades the quality of life, dampens economic activities and could fuel disorder.

He said that water scarcity remains to be the hardest form of emergency to contain, but can be prevented through foresight, right plans, united action and political will.

“Anticipating problems instead of letting them catch us by surprise is how we approach these challenges in the Bagong Pilipinas. We prepare for contingencies, solve problems, and defuse potential crisis before they occur. We dream of building a nation our children that proudly inherit— that our children can proudly inherit.,” President Marcos said.

“And as such, this project is worth bequeathing to the generations that will come after us,” he added.

Before this, President Marcos has ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with various government agencies, to prioritize and expedite the completion of water supply projects in areas that will be severely affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

President Marcos also ordered the DPWH and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to explore public-private partnerships in rehabilitating and improving the country’s water supply systems.

The DPWH was also ordered to build large scale water impounding projects to increase areas that may be served. PND