THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) hailed the recent declaration of the United Nations of clean water as basic human right.

DENR Regional Executive Director Julian Amador said the Western Visayas office was informed of the UN declaration, as a directive from Environment Secretary Ramon Paje called for all regions to clean up the rivers, creeks and waterways not only in Metro Manila and highly urbanized areas.

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Amador said the declaration will be unconditionally supported by the Philippine government, stressing that the country had acted 10 years ahead of the UN declaration, which is included in its 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act of 2004 was enacted to underscore the government's vigilance in addressing the country's water security.

The country had exceeded its MDG target of 70 percent starting in 1990 as the baseline year and raising to 86.5 percent of total households having access to clean and safe water by 2015.

Amador said in making the Clean Water Act sustainable, it is not only the water resources that should be rehabilitated. Rivers, creeks, and canals should likewise be cleaned up and protected. (LCP)