Businessmen expressed concern over the water shortage in Metro Manila, saying it could affect the country’s economic competitiveness.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the largest umbrella of business organizations in the country, called for urgent short- and long-term solutions to the water shortage.
“The shortage we are experiencing now is obviously a cause for alarm,” PCCI president Alegria Sibal Limjoco said.
She said the situation was not only hurting consumers but could also affect the country’s competitiveness because water is an important input to the industry.
Limjoco said the country began seeing that the demand for clean water had exceeded the rate of replenishment from existing sources.
“And unless we develop other sources while slowing down our demand for water, we are faced with dire consequences that could have a negative impact on our goals to achieve industrialization and economic transformation,” Limjoco said.
PCCI welcomed the government efforts to mitigate the situation in Metro Manila by increasing the release of water supply from Angat Dam.
It likewise acknowledged Manila Water for owning up to its shortcoming and commended the company’s positive response to the call to immediately make more water available to consumers in its service areas.
“It takes great courage to admit such grave responsibility. The actions of Manila Water simply proved how much they value their stakeholders,” Limjoco said.
The association said these stop-gap initiatives should be complemented by long-term measures to effectively and efficiently manage and utilize the country’s water resources.
It said that if no measures would be taken to address the current supply shortage, the water crisis experienced now could become a normal occurrence in the future.