THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Northern Mindanao has started a rain harvesting program that would give the agency savings on water bills.

Engr. Alex D. Jimenez, chief of the DENR’s environmental impact assessment division, said the rain “harvested” can be used in flashing comfort room bowls or other uses inside the office, which can be replicated by other government agencies in support to President Benigno Aquino III’s deficit recovery program.

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He said this method can help the government save up to P30,000 a month.

“We are using a tank each for our two comfort rooms where rainwater is harvested. Then we used it as our source of water for flushing the bowl and for handwashing that would last for three days,” he said.

He even tended to install tanks at the DENR laboratory. “But it is dangerous due to acids,” he said.

Jimenez showed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro two tanks attached beside his office inside the DENR compound in Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City.

“For me, in order to save, if the weather is cold, I’ll shut my air conditioners off. What’s the use of (artificial cooling equipment) when it’s cold,” he said.

Jimenez said the government need not spend on unnecessary things when there are some ways to spare it on other productive government programs.

“These maybe little, but if everybody follows, then it’s a big help to the recovery of our economy,” he said.

In his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Aquino mentioned that the country’s growing foreign debts reached to trillion of pesos.

Aquino’s predecessor, former president now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, reportedly incurred a deficit of P196.7 billion in the first six months of the year.

Collection was P23.8-billion short of target while spending exceeded target by P45.1 billion.

Aquino said of the P1.54 trillion budget this year, only P100 billion, or 6.5 percent can be used for the remaining six months of the current year or equivalent to roughly one percent per month for the rest of the year. (Loui S. Maliza)