PRESIDENT FERDINAND R. Marcos, Jr. has approved the creation of a water resource management body, which will be under the department overseeing the countrys natural resources, according to the presidential palace.  

The creation of the Water Resource Management Office (WRMO) will help the government manage the countrys water resources and respond to the current environmental challenges through a concerted government effort,the Presidential Communications Office said in a statement.  

The WRMO will be positioned as an interim agency pending the passage of a proposed law that will establish a department on water management with a Cabinet-level head. Related bills have been filed in both chambers of Congress.   

The new offices first action should be reducing the countrys reliance on groundwater and deep wells, as well as managing surface water supply, the President was quoted as saying.   

The WRMO would be under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and will be a transitory body pending the creation of a Water Resources Department,the Palace said.   

The new offices recommendations must be followed by state-owned corporations promoting water services such as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the DENRs water resources board, the Palace said, citing Mr. Marcos.  

The new offices main functions also include formulating and ensuring the implementation of the Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP), which will integrate various plans of different agencies.  

The IWMP, which will serve as the main guiding document for the WRMO, will respond to the current environmental challenges and manage water resources through a concerted government effort engaging various sectors,the PCO said.   

The Palace said Mr. Marcos will issue an executive order to enable the National Water Resources Board of DENR, MWSS, LWUA and the other water-related agencies to have a collaborative mechanism with the WRMO. Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza