Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero said yesterday a state-run distribution system rather than privatization is the answer to the country's water supply crisis.
"While I favor less state intervention, basic utilities like water and power require sustained effort from government to guarantee competitive prices and sufficient supply," he said.
He added that if government can spend for power generation and distribution, it should also be able do the same for water.
"We already have a power distribution system that enables electricity generated in Pangasinan to be transmitted to Manila. My dream is to replicate the system that Transco has wherein power from Mindanao can be distributed to any point in the country. I would like to see that model applied for water also," he noted.
He said a similar water distribution system for water would benefit areas like the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Central Visayas where access to clean and adequate water is a problem.
"Ideally, government should be responsible for water generation while water districts should be distributors just like in the power sector," he stressed.
He added that government should make drastic efforts to ensure water rates are affordable and strengthen the water sector before the price of water becomes as expensive as gasoline and energy.
"People laughed 10 years ago when businessmen started marketing bottled water. With the success of that business, the time might come when we will have to pay a high price for water used for laundry and taking a bath."