COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro lawmakers have introduced two bills to combat water scarcity and advance renewable energy in the region.
Member of the Parliament Amilbar Mawallil primarily authored Parliament Bill Nos. 238 and 239 that would mandate the establishment of rainwater harvesting facilities and solar-powered water distribution in the Bangsamoro region.
The co-authors of these bills include MPs Laisa Alamia, Baintan Ampatuan, Rasol Mitmug Jr., Don Mustapha Loong, Suharto Ambolodto, Rasul Ismael, Hashemi Dilangalen, and Hamid Malik.
PB No. 238, or the Bangsamoro Rainwater Harvesting Facility Act of 2023, seeks to require the establishment of rainwater harvesting facilities to be installed as part of any industrial, commercial, or agricultural infrastructure built in the region.
According to MP Mawallil, the bill aims to enhance water security by diversifying water supply sources in a region heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture and plagued by unpredictable rainfall patterns and the consequences of climate change.
Mawallil highlighted that rainwater harvesting is a sustainable and cost-effective solution to mitigate water scarcity issues by capturing and storing rainwater for later use.
He said, “By mandating the incorporation of rainwater harvesting facilities in infrastructure development projects, we can harness the region’s abundant rainfall and make better use of this valuable resource.”
The captured rainwater, he explained, will supplement existing water sources, reducing dependence on groundwater and surface water, especially during dry periods.
The bill mandates the construction of reservoirs in all infrastructure development projects for various purposes, including irrigation, land preservation, environmental protection, and supporting farmers’ livelihoods.
Meanwhile, Parliament Bill No. 239, or the Bangsamoro Solar-Powered Water Distribution Systems Act of 2023, aims to formulate a three-year program for the construction of solar-powered water distribution systems in every barangay throughout the region.
To reduce their environmental impact and dependency on fossil fuels, these systems will use solar energy as their major power source for pumping and distributing water to communities.
The Ministry of Science and Technology, in collaboration with other relevant ministries, will be tasked with creating this program, with priority given to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
Mawallil said that this ensures that even the most underserved communities gain access to clean water while simultaneously contributing to the region’s energy sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and promoting renewable energy sources.
He emphasized that these bills hold the potential to significantly enhance the quality of life for residents by providing reliable and sustainable access to clean water, reducing waterborne diseases, and enhancing hygiene practices.
It is also in line with global efforts to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)