Upgrade your membership plan for the full website experience.
View Membership Plans
April 11, 2023

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Signs an Executive Order to Address the Water Crisis

Authored by
April 11, 2023

On March 24, President Marcos announced that he signed an executive order creating an interim agency, the Water Resource Management Office (WRMO), to address the country’s water crisis. He acknowledged that there are existing bills filed in Congress seeking the formation of the Department of Water Resources and highlighted that the WRMO will handle water-related matters until the bills establishing a water department are passed. The WRMO, which will be under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), aims to create more cohesive policies to address the water crisis by implementing an Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP) and streamlining various water plans stemming from multiple government agencies. The WRMO is expected to provide recommendations to state-owned water agencies such as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) as well as encourage a collaborative mechanism to implement programs among these agencies for a more concentrated government effort.

The President cited that a water supply problem would have a debilitating effect on the economy, noting that the resource is heavily used in agriculture and power generation and that a water shortage will have detrimental impacts on the country’s food supply. In addition, he suggested that the WRMO’s first action should focus on reducing the country’s reliance on ground water and deep wells and managing surface water supply. He also recommended the implementation of innovative water solutions like Israel’s water recycling system. 

The EO was welcomed by the MWSS and other lawmakers, calling it a timely intervention that will boost collective action to address the rising water stress in the country. According to the NWRB, about 11 million Filipino families still have no access to clean water and the El Nino phenomenon is expected to exacerbate the country’s water supply shortage. The executive branch of government has yet to release the text of the EO.

Join the Council to continue reading this article
Enhance your business impact in Southeast Asia: Become a member of the US-ASEAN Business Council and tap into a network of possibilities.
Free Related Articles

Membership Plans

Corporate Council

Corporate membership provides general advocacy support, access to all country- and industry-specific updates, and access to most Council events.

  • Business missions to all 10 ASEAN markets which engage governments at the highest levels.
  • Off-the-record roundtables and policy briefings with senior government leaders in ASEAN and the U.S.
  • On-the-ground support for promoting your positions/policy priorities with policy makers.
  • Industry-specific, country-specific, cross-sector and regional advocacy through committees that target their engagement based on member priorities.
  • Advocacy on your behalf in situations where your company should not be directly identified or is unable to be present.

Chairman’s Council

Corporate membership provides general advocacy support, access to all country- and industry-specific updates, and access to most Council events.

  • All Corporate benefits.
  • Assistance with resolving company-specific trade or investment issues through our six regional offices and U.S.-based staff.
  • Develop effective advocacy strategies to impact policy concerns.
  • Identification of, and engagement with appropriate policy influencers to impact policy concerns.
  • Assistance in conducting follow-up after engaging government leaders (can include providing officials with additional materials, setting up meetings with their staff, getting a readout of the government’s reaction to the discussion).
  • Support for developing arguments that will resonate with target stakeholders.
  • Leading and setting the agenda and policy priorities of the Country and Industry Committees.