Greenpeace today submitted letters of demand to presidential candidates to push them for their commitments to protect the country’s water sources. Greenpeace bikers delivered the letters, along with images of drought affected areas in the country, in a tour of the headquarters of the nine presidentiables.
“The country’s experience with the current drought as well as intense storms underlines the tremendous urgency for government leadership to act. Unfortunately, this did not appear to be the priority of previous administrations.
Greenpeace is calling on trhe country’s aspiring leaders to commit to addressing the water and climate crises in their first 100 days in office. If they don’t show their commitment to these issues now, how can the Philippine electorate be assured that their most basic needs, such as water and the lack of which impacts on their daily lives and livelihood, are among the top priorities of the administration?” said Mark Dia, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Deputy Campaign Director.
Greenpeace recently launched a week-long Water Watch Camp to bring attention to and monitor the effects of the current El Niño episode on Angat Dam. The dam supplies 97% of Metro Manila’s household and industrial water requirements, irrigation for agricultural lands in Bulacan and Pampanga, and water for the operation of a hydroelectric power plant for Metro Manila. The water level in the reservoir breached the 180masl (meters above sea level) critical point on April 13 and continues to recede by about 0.24meters a day — or a meter every four to five days.
The demand letter that Greenpeace sent to the candidates asked for two specific measures: 1) prioritize hazards and vulnerability-assessments to identify risks, and implement adaptation measures to prevent or alleviate water shortage in case of drought; or lessen damage to crops, property and infrastructure in the case of too much rain; 2) improve the existing capabilities of monitoring teams to develop efficient forecasting and warning systems for extreme weather events that are critical to protecting lives, property and critical environmental resources.
Greenpeace is asking the candidates to respond to the letter by April 28. Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.