Forest Deterioration is one of the major environmental problems hitting the Philippines and last Tuesday, Senatorhas re-iterated this particular issue. In an interview with media, Legarda says:
“Under nature’s order of things, watershed areas store water for release into the water receptacles during the dry months, ensuring a continuity of water supply. Yet most of the proclaimed watershed areas have been classified as deteriorating or dying. We lose 1.4 percent of our forest cover a year,” Legarda said.
“Watershed reforestation must be given priority to augment the total water supply of the country. Watershed areas must be protected and rehabilitated,” she stressed.
Legarda also strongly recommended that special emphasis must be given to small water impounding projects which can provide water to areas that cannot be served by the local water districts.
Legarda, chair of the senate committee on climate change, also cited doable individual and community water conservation efforts, “On the household level, we can easily adopt practices like gathering and storing rainwater for daily chores.”
“In the community, water recycling facilities and rain collection systems can be built. New local sources of water can also be identified and utilized while existing local water distribution systems must be properly maintained,” she also pointed out.
Legarda, who is also the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, lamented that the agricultural sector suffers the brunt of any shortage as water supply priority is given to municipal and industrial use.
“We are seeing the serious dangers of a prolonged drought. We should no longer ignore the symptoms of an ailing environment. There should be greater political and community action for more responsible water use and conservation,” she said.