The House Committee on Metro Manila Development recently endorsed House Bill (HB) 4111 authored by Manila Representative Manuel Luiz Lopez (1st District) and Allan Benedict Reyes (3rd District). HB 4111 seeks to mandate “the establishment and maintenance of a rainwater harvesting facility in all new institutional commercial, and residential development projects in Metro Manila”.
The bill is seen as a response to the severe water shortage experienced in Metro Manila and neighboring areas just this year. Lopez expects the bill to not only prevent future water shortages but to prevent flooding and overflow of creeks and rivers as well. HB 4111, if approved, will create a pilot program for mandatory rainwater collection in Metro Manila. Lopez hopes the bill will inspire other cities to establish similar programs
Separate studies published by USDAid, Philippine Journal of Science, and the De La Salle University warn of extreme water shortages as soon as 2025. Groundwater extraction due to high water consumption is one of the main causes of the continuous sinking of urban areas, leaving these places more vulnerable to floods. The industrial and agricultural sectors lead the numbers in water consumption.
Rainwater collection for non-potable uses is one of the most recommended ways of water conservation.
If passed, all realty projects in development in Metro Manila will have 30 years to comply with the parameters of the bill. Violators can be fined from Php500,000 up to Php2,000,000.