MANILA, Oct 18 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday met with top officials of Isabela province to discuss ways to address issues involving the country’s water resources.

WATER MANAGEMENT. President Ferdinand “Bongong” Marcos Jr. meets with officials of Isabela province to discuss the country’s water resources at Malacañang Palace on Monday (Oct. 17, 2022). Marcos noted the immediate need to establish a Department of Water Resources to set policies and implement structural reforms on water management. (Photo from PND)

In a press release, Malacañang said Marcos renewed his push for the establishment of a Department of Water Resources (DWR) which would be responsible for the development and management of water resources in the country.

“President Marcos noted the immediate need to establish a Department of Water Resources to set policies and implement structural reforms on water management that will address many issues particularly on the ‘critical’ fresh water supply in the country,” Malacañang said.

In his first State of the Nation Address on July 25, Marcos asked Congress to pass a measure creating a DWR that will adopt the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) as the strategic framework for national water management, policymaking and planning.

Marcos started reviewing the proposal to adopt an IWRM program for the country last August.

Meanwhile, Marcos and Isabela officials also discussed several programs to address agricultural challenges in the province and in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley).

Among these were building of new dams and rehabilitation of existing ones, enhancement of post-production and irrigation facilities as well renewable energy.

Present during the meeting were Isabela Gov. Rodito Albano, Vice Gov. Faustino Dy III, Reps. Antonio Albano (1st district), Ian Paul Dy (3rd district), Joseph Tan (4th district), Faustino Michael Carlos Dy III (5th district), Faustino Dy V (6th district) and Allan Ty (LPGMA party-list) and former Cauayan City Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy.

Isabela, the second largest province in the country, is home to Magat Dam, a major source of power and water supply of the Northern Luzon.

The province is also home to the biggest corn processing facility in Southeast Asia. (MNS)