Press Releases

Salceda works with Israeli, Dutch embassies to fix PH water issues; Principal sponsor of Water Department says better regulation can “modernize” water sector

December 19th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) has announced in a statement that his office is working with the embassies of the State of Israel and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to address issues in the country’s water sector. Salceda is chair of the Technical Working Group that is crafting the House’s bill creating a Department of Water Resources.

Salceda relayed that the Israeli ambassador, Ilan Fluss, expressed his “enthusiasm for your interest in Israel’s technology and innovation” in the water sector. The ambassador also offered to collaborate with Salceda on water issues and invited Salceda to a study tour in Israel on the matter.

Salceda says he is also communicating with the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the matter.

“These two countries are the best partners to learn from. One had too little water and is now an agriculture giant in the Middle East. The other is in an existential battle against too much water, and is now the world’s most important source of water management technology. They handled the extremes. So, they would have the best insights into both a lack of water and an excess of it,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that he also aims to generate investments in the water sector from these countries.

“I also hope to invite technical experts, encourage the hiring of their experts so we can do knowledge transfer, and bundle our partnership into some big multi-year package with our multilateral partners,” Salceda said.

New vision for water regulation

Salceda, who assigned the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office to gather the executive agencies and come up with an administration version of the SONA priority, says that the House will study water regulation throughout the break.

Salceda hopes that the executive and the House “can come up with a new, coherent, and complete vision for the water sector.”

“Generally, we want to mimic the way the energy sector’s aspects are regulated. A NEA equivalent for missionary water access. A Transco for water transmission. A NAPOCOR for water generation. And an ERC to regulate water tariffs.”

Salceda adds that he wants to ensure “that when you want to build a dam, you know where to go. When you want to build a water or sewerage pipeline, you know where to go. Unlike now, when regulation is extremely disjointed.”

The point, Salceda says, “is you want an apex body that gathers the water regulatory agencies as one family that talks to each other.”

Salceda says that hearings will resume “as soon as Congress reconvenes.”

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