THE possible devolution of certain functions of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to the local water utility, Baguio Water District (BWD), will have to undergo a thorough study since the State has power over water and other natural resources of the state.
This is how Baguio City Representative Marquez Go views the measure for the BWD to manage certain functions of the NWRB specifically in the issuance of deep well permits being issued by the board instead of the local water utilities which has an effect to the city’s aquifers.
The City’s Water District monitored parts of the city having many water sources, but observed water levels in some areas at a low because of the operation of private deep wells.
Go said “On the devolution of the powers of the NWRB to the local water utilities like the Baguio Water District will have to be studied. I don’t think that we can devolve the power of the board because that concerns water and the state has power over water and other natural resources of the state.”
Private deep wells in the city have hampered BWD’s efforts to improve water supply which becomes limited during summer due to a high demand and consumption.
The NWRB is the government agency responsible for all water resources in the Philippines. It coordinates and regulates all water-related activities in the country that has impact on the physical environment and the economy.
Go said “The concept here is that before the NWRB would make an action on deep wells to be erected, the assumption here is that the local water utility should have an agreement or consent or knowledge before they come in. The water District people are asking us if the NWRB either through an executive order or a bill to give the powers to the water district will still have to be studied by us.”
The three major functions of the NWRB is to formulate policy and coordination, regulate resources and economy.
The Solon suggested for the city to look at its sewer system management which should be placed under the BWD just like other countries.
“Of course that would require a lot of resources on the part of the Baguio Water District and I think they are the more capable to manage it. They are the ones who connect the water lines so they know how to manage the water waste.” Go added.