Faster approval of water infra pushed

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    After telecommunication, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) will now zero in on expediting the review process and approval process of infrastructure flagship projects on water security.

    ARTA said Administrative order (AO) 32 will ensure the country will achieve by 2030 its goal of a “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water for all.”

    ARTA warned agencies and local government units causing unreasonable delay they could face sanctions under the Ease of Doing Business Act.

    “We want to reiterate that all applications that have complete requirements and are paid are deemed automatically approved if they go beyond the prescribed processing time. An audit of all pending applications and permits in all agencies involved will be made and unreasonable delays will be accounted for,” said Jeremiah Belgica, director-general of ARTA.

    Belgica said as what was done with the common towers, the agency ARTA will conduct a series of consultations with the implementing agencies and private stakeholders.

    It will then issue a recommendation on the streamlined processes.

    Belgica said the National Economic and Development Authority has submitted to ARTA the updated list of water-resource infrastructure flagship projects with pending applications and the statuses thereof.

    AO 32 was released to answer the problem of low water levels in existing reservoirs, particularly in Metro Manila. Further, it aims to mitigate the increasing demand and competing use over the limited water supply. — Irma Isip