The House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez (1st District, Manila) has approved a substitute bill seeking to order the creation of rainwater harvesting facilities as part of new institutional, commercial and residential development projects in Metro Manila.

The proposed “Rainwater Harvesting Facility (RHF) Act” substituted House Bill No. (HB) 2418 authored by Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City), HB 4111 by Lopez, HB 4124 by Rep. Christopher “Kit” Belmonte (6th District, Quezon City), and HB 4698 by Rep. Yul Servo Nieto (3rd District, Manila).

It is the intent of the substitute bill to require all new subdivisions, condominium communities, malls, government institutions, central business districts, information technology parks and other valid public and private establishments to construct rain harvesting facilities to preempt floods caused by continuous heavy rain.

“Among the several methods to collect water, rainwater harvesting is considered the most environmentally friendly.”

Lopez said that with the water crisis in Metro Manila, finding solutions has become imperative for public officials and workers. Among the several methods considered as the most environmentally friendly, is rainwater harvesting.

As stated in the bill, a rainwater harvesting facility is a flood control structure used to prevent or delay the release of rainwater into the public drainage system. Rainwater collected by a harvesting facility may be used for non-drinking activities such as gardening and air-cooling.

The bill requires the owner or developer to maintain at least 3% of the project’s total area as a rainwater harvesting facility.

The bill mandates the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and local government units (LGUs) to ensure that rain harvesting facilities are built during the construction phase of new subdivisions, condominium communities, malls, government institutions, central business districts, information technology parks and other valid public and private establishments.

In particular, the bill requires the owner or developer of any new development project with an area of at least 1,500 square meters to reserve, develop, and maintain at least 3% of the project’s total area as a rainwater harvesting facility.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the HLURB, shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.

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