With the dry season just around the corner, Malacañang said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has assured that the country will have “enough water” for the year.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cimatu gave his assurance to President Rodrigo Duterte during the 47th Cabinet meeting as part of the government’s action plan in preparation for the dry season.

“The Environment Secretary assured the President that we will have enough water for the year,” Panelo said in a press briefing.

Panelo added that Cimatu and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have assured that Metro Manila will no longer experience water service interruptions.

“They’re assuring us that there will be no water problem. They’re doing something about it,” he added.

“They’re doing something about it.”

During the meeting, Panelo said the environment head presented his recent inspection of the capabilities and limitations of the Angat Dam, the primary source of drinking water for Metro Manila and irrigation water for farmlands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga.

Cimatu’s pronouncement came after water concessionaires earlier warned its customers of a “stricter implementation” of its rotational service interruption schedule that has been in place for several months now as the water level at Ipo Dam goes down.

Maynilad and Manila Water had advised its customers to prepare for interruptions and limited water supply once the dry season starts.

Maynilad and Manila Water advised its customers to prepare for interruptions and limited water supply.

Both water concessionaires are in the process of negotiations for a new concession agreement with the government, which officials said may be finalized in the middle of the year.

Raw water allocation from Angat Dam will be maintained at 42 cubic meters per second (cms) in March amid water service interruptions, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said.

This figure remains below the normal allocation of 46 cms from the dam.

Last year’s water crisis in Metro Manila prompted officials to look for other sources of water supply.

In October 2019, Duterte said he is considering the use of “extraordinary powers of the presidency” to fast-track the construction of the Kaliwa Dam project to prevent another water crisis in Metro Manila.

Despite opposition by groups, which claimed that the construction of the Kaliwa Dam would displace indigenous peoples (IPs), Duterte said he felt it would benefit more people.

The Kaliwa Dam project in Infanta, Quezon is funded by loans from China while another water source project, the Wawa Dam project in Rodriguez, Rizal is a joint venture of the consortium of Enrique Razon and Oscar Violago.

The two projects are expected to provide an additional 600 million liters a day (MLD) and 80 MLD, respectively, to help augment water supply for Metro Manila.

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