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Marcos approves the creation of the DENR’s water resources management office.

To integrate and coordinate government efforts to guarantee the availability and sustainable management of water resources in the nation, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed an executive order on Thursday establishing the Water Resources Management Office (WRMO) in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Water Resources Management Organization (WRMO) is required by Executive Order No. 22 to “ensure the immediate implementation of the Integrated Water Resources Management in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and formulate a corresponding Water Resources Master Plan (IWMP).”

The EO was established to deal with issues that affect the management of water resources in the nation, particularly with the rising water demand brought on by population and economic growth, the effects of climate change and the pandemic, and the uneven distribution of water resources caused, among other things, by inadequate infrastructure.

The EO stated that “the Government must integrate and harmonize the policies, programs, and projects of all relevant agencies in the water resource sector in the fulfillment of their complementary governmental mandates to avert water crises, minimize and avoid conflicts, and consistent with the State’s sole ownership and control over the country’s water resources.”

The WRMO’s job description states that it must “shepherd and champion, together with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, the passage of a law creating an apex body, such as the proposed Department of Water and/or a regulatory commission on water.”

The Philippine Development Plan, the Philippine Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan, and the National Water Resources Board Security Master Plan are just a few of the plans that must be incorporated into the IWMP.

Another job assigned to the WRMO is to “generate and maintain credible and timely water and sanitation data to aid in evidence-based policy-making, regulations, planning, and implementation.”

An Undersecretary chosen by the President based on the DENR secretary’s recommendation will lead the WRMO.

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