The Senate committee on public services chaired by Sen. Grace Poe will conduct a hearing on proposed measures to establish a central water agency that would focus on water, sewerage and sanitation.
The hearing will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Senate. It will be jointly conducted by the committees on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation, ways and means and finance.
“We need a lead agency whose ultimate responsibility would be the provision of adequate and safe water supply, not just for household and commercial needs, but for our farms,” Poe said.
“What we currently have is a fragmented regulatory framework for water that has limited powers, which has a significant impact on the delivery of water and sanitation services in the country,” she added.
The hearing will tackle the eight bills pending before the committee seeking the creation of a water agency. These were filed by Poe, Sens. Ralph Recto, Franklin Drilon, Lito Lapid and Ramon Revilla Jr.
It will also discuss the three bills proposing the creation of a Department of Water Resources Management filed by Sens. Manny Pacquiao, Francis Tolentino and Ronald Dela Rosa.
Poe said the hearing will offer an opportunity to bring to the table questions about the government contracts with water concessionaires.
Poe expressed optimism that the Senate can pass its version of the water agency bill soon, emphasizing that the water bill is on the President’s list of priority legislature.
“We want assurance of the people’s right to clean and steady supply of water,” Poe said.