Re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino called on concerned government agencies, led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to extend assistance to micro-businesses affected by the water shortage.
“Kadugtong ng krisis sa tubig ang kabuhayan ng mga kakababayan natin. Bawas kita ang dulot nitong krisis sa tubig sa mga kababayan natin lalo na mahihirap,” said Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.
In Metro Manila, Sen. Bam said there are around 150,000 registered micro-businesses, aside from those belonging to the so-called informal economy, that need immediate help due to the water shortage.
“Kailangan ng kagyat na solusyon para hindi mawalan ng kabuhayan ang maraming kababayan natin,” added Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Trade and Entrepreneurship in the 16th Congress.
Sen. Bam said the DTI and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to tap Negosyo Centers and microfinance institutions in Metro Manila to give micro-businesses access to micro-loans and micro-insurance to help them weather the effect of the water shortage.
During his tenure as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of several laws aiming to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the Go Negosyo Act and the Microfinance NGO Act.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bam stressed that those responsible for the water shortage must be punished as he called on concerned stakeholders to work together to bring immediate relief to consumers.
“Mahalagang panagutin ang mga responsable sa krisis na ito pero mas kailangan magtulungan muna para mabigyan ng agarang ginhawa ang taumbayan,” said Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam pointed out that short- and long-term solutions are needed to avoid a repeat of the water shortage problem, including the creation of a water agency and the appointment of a water czar who will focus on water resource management.
Also, the Metro Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) must continue its cooperation with Manila Water and Maynilad to speed up water sharing through cross-border sharing.
Sen. Bam added that plans for the activation of alternative water sources should be crafted immediately to enable affected household and local government agencies to prepare.
“Kailangan malinaw ang agaran at pangmatagalang plano upang hindi na maulit ang ganitong krisis, sa Metro Manila man o sa ibang bahagi ng bansa,” said Sen. Bam.