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LGUs ordered to step up in water conservation

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday called on local government units (LGUs), especially in Metro Manila, to strictly enforce water conservation measures as El Niño threatens supply.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos ordered local chief executives to conduct regular monitoring of water meters and report leaks to water service providers following a decrease in water level at Angat Dam, a crucial water source for the capital region. 

Abalos directed LGUs to ensure government offices have separate water meters for easier monitoring of water consumption and possible leaks, and to maximize rainwater harvesting in public facilities or promote water catchment systems in residential areas. 

LGUs are also expected to conduct extensive information, education, and communications campaigns on water conservation measures to raise awareness and encourage active participation among residents in conserving water. 

Local governments are advised to use their local disaster risk reduction and management fund for the necessary expenditure to implement such activities. 

The DILG chief also called on building administrators to regularly check for leaks and faulty fixtures, especially in toilets. 

Abalos urged the public to reuse rinse and laundry water for cleaning floors, flushing toilets, and watering plants. He also recommended using washcloths and a "tabo" instead of a water hose to clean vehicles.

"Everyone must take action and work together to avoid water interruptions. Let us be prudent and economical in using water," Abalos said in Filipino. — Gaea Katreena Cabico