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March 18, 2020
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 24
MANDATING ALL NATIONAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR -CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS, AND STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES TO STRICTLY IMPLEMENT WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WHEREAS, Section 16, Article II of the Constitution enshrines the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature;
WHEREAS, Executive Order (EO) No. 16 (s. 2001) created a Presidential Task Force to enhance agency coordination in the formulation and implementation of measures that will mitigate the effects of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena;
WHEREAS, Memorandum Order No. 38 (s. 2019) reactivated the El Niño Task Force to implement, among others, short-term solutions to ensure water security;
WHEREAS, based on the projections of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the water level in Angat Dam will be below its normal high operating level of 210 meters from the months of January to March 2020 and below its minimum operating level of 180 meters from the months of April to May 2020;
WHEREAS, considering the above projections, the NWRB has reduced the water allocation for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from its normal demand of 44 cubic meter per second (m3/s) to 40 m3/s for January 2020, and for the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to 20 m3/s or fifty percent (50%) of the total allocation requirement of the NIA for the dry cropping season in agricultural areas served by the Angat Dam, such as the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga;
WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to implement water conservation measures to avert a looming water crisis and in order to attain at least a twenty percent (20%) reduction in water consumption especially within the areas served by the Angat Dam, including Metro Manila and parts of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan provinces;
WHEREAS, under Republic Act (RA) No. 7160 or the "Local Government Code of 1991," as amended, local government units (LGUs) are mandated to discharge the functions and responsibilities of national agencies and offices devolved to them, which includes enactment of ordinances that shall protect the quantity of water supply within their respective jurisdictions;
WHEREAS, Section 17, Article VII of the Constitution confers to the President the power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices, as well as the mandate to ensure the faithful execution of laws; and
WHEREAS, under Section 4, Article X of the Constitution, the President exercises general supervision over local governments;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order:
SECTION 1. All national government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, especially those located within areas served by the Angat Dam, are directed to urgently implement water conservation measures in coordination with the El Niño Task Force and the NWRB.
SECTION 2. The El Niño Task Force, in coordination with the NWRB, MWSS, Local Water Utilities Administration, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Presidential Communications Operations Office, shall undertake a massive information campaign and various advocacy programs on water conservation in traditional and social media platforms, schools, subdivisions and government offices.
SECTION 3. In accordance with RA No. 7160, as amended, all LGUs, especially those within the areas served by the Angat Dam, shall issue advisories and enact ordinances that will protect water supply within their respective jurisdictions. The Department of the Interior and Local Government shall monitor compliance of concerned LGUs with this directive.
SECTION 4. Failure to comply with this Order shall result in the filing of appropriate administrative cases pursuant to the Civil Service Commission Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, RA No. 7160, as amended, and other relevant laws, rules and regulations.
SECTION 5. If any part or provision of this order is held unconstitutional or invalid, other parts not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.
SECTION 6. This Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 18th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty.
Source: CD Asia Online