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DepEd: School kids in water shortage-hit areas may forego school uniforms

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 01:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines – School children in areas hit by water shortage may forego the wearing of school uniforms, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

DepEd said in a statement that beginning Thursday (March 14), they are allowing students and teachers in public elementary and high school from selected Metro Manila areas to attend classes even if they are wearing casual clothes.

DepEd said they will practice flexibility with their uniform policy in consideration of the ongoing water supply problems in areas being serviced by Manila Water, which disrupted the normal routine in households and establishments.

“We will be very flexible. Ang pinaka-priority natin ay ma-maintain natin na ang mga bata at guro ay papasok,” DepEd Spokesperson Undersecretary Analyn Sevilla said.

“We are flexible so that classes will still continue and for humanitarian reasons. We understand that water supply should be maximized and utilized for more relevant uses such as for food, hygiene,” Sevilla added.

The DepEd official said cancelling classes due to the water shortage is not an option because school children need to complete their required minimum contact time to avoid the creation of another problem.

Sevilla shared that the adjustment in uniform rules was prompted by the request of Mandaluyong schools, following complaints about the maintenance of their comfort rooms due to water interruption.

“(We) allow or authorize non-wearing of uniforms for students and teachers in public schools affected by the water supply shortage in NCR, particularly Mandaluyong which requested for such,” Sevilla said. – Robie de Guzman

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Metro Cebu also hit by water crisis

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, 16 March 2019 05:09 PM

Water supply shortage is not only being experienced in Metro Manila and Rizal, but also in Metro Cebu.

Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) Spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara said, “The supply shortage is caused by the lowering of the water table and pollution of sources due to septic waste and long-term use of fertilizers.”

Kara revealed that even without El Niño, the MCWD is only serving 43% of the Metro Cebu’s requirements due to the insufficient supply and fast increasing demand.

The Jaclupan and Buhisan dams, have been supplying water for the MCWD customers in Compostela and Talisay areas.

Currently, the water production of Jaclupan has been reduced from 33,000 cu. m. to 23,400 cu.m per day, while Buhisan has decreased from 5,000 cu.m. to 1,000 cu.m. per day, which resulted in a total deficit of 13,600 cu.m. per day.

Among the areas affected by the lowering of Buhisan Dam water level, include, elevated parts of Banawam Horseshoe Drive, Capitol Site, Oppra, Ipil-ipil, Camputhaw, Clavano, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, F. Ramos B. Rodriguez, Juana Osmeña, Pier Area, North Reclamation Area, MJ Cuenco Ave., M. Velez

Meanwhile, Jaclupan facility’s reduced production has affected the elevated areas of Talisay City, and downtown Cebu City.

MCWD has 450,000 cu.m. water demand per day from its customers, but it is now only capable of supplying 228,000 cu.m. daily.

This prompted the said water concessionaire to implement rotational water interruption. It also came up with a plan of building up an additional 4 wells as its short-term solution. Its management is also planning to have a major dam project as its long-term response to the problem.

The MCWD expects the shortage to continue until June this year. — Freema Salonga-Gloria

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Maynilad begins ‘cross-border’ supply sharing with Manila Water

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 05:18 PM

Maynilad Water Services opens one of its water valves along West Avenue in Quezon City to allow Manila Water to tap into their supply.

Manila Water consumers will soon find relief from water shortage that gripped the eastern Metro Manila and Rizal Province for more than a week now.

In a report on UNTV News and Rescue’s Ito ang Balita by Grace Casin on Friday, Manila Water Company can now tap on Maynilad Water Services’ supply after the latter formally opened one its water valves along West Avenue in Quezon City.

The said water valve was closed since 1997.

Earlier this week, Maynilad agreed to a ‘cross-border’ water sharing deal with Manila Water to help address its unstable water supply.

Maynilad will share around 50 million liters per day (mld) of its supply after Manila Water agreed with the tariff rates to be applied on the water sharing deal.   

“Progressively i-increase ‘yan to 50MLD, dahan-dahan dahil mayroon pong gagawin. Plus the deep well, ‘pag pinagsabay-sabay po natin, aabutin pa rin po tayo ng April hanggang May,” Manila Water President and CEO Ferdz dela Cruz told reporters during a press briefing on Friday.

According to the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS), water sharing between the two concessionaires has long been practiced to help resolve any water emergency.

MWSS President Ronesito Fernandez said that in 2015, Manila Water also came to Maynilad’s rescue when it encountered issues in its water supply due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

“Kasama po ‘yun sa concession agreement na magsi-sharing ng water in cases of emergency,” Fernandez said.

On Monday (March 18), Representatives from MWSS, National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Maynilad and Manila Water are set to face the Lower House to explain about the water shortage that affected thousands of households in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province.

During the hearing, Solons also agreed to urge the NWRB to allow the use of deep wells during crisis.

The NWRB released a moratorium in 2004 banning unauthorized deep well extraction and pumping of underground water sources in Metro Manila and Cebu to protect groundwater reserves and avoid land subsidence and salt water intrusion.

READ: NWRB warns vs digging illegal deep wells amid water shortage in Metro Manila

“Maybe on Monday, we can prepare a committee resolution allowing them that could be part of the interpretation of the law,” House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

Arroyo met with MWSS officials on Thursday (March 14) to discuss the metro water shortage. The meeting was also attended by some Congressmen who suggested for Manila Water to lower the pressure in other areas it is servicing to meet the allocation needs of households hit with service interruption.

“Lahat na lang parepareho na magsakripisyo. Hihinaan ang presyon sa lahat para maiwasan natin ‘yung totally wala nang tubig na tumutulo (sa gripo),” Marikina 1st District Representative Bayani Fernando said.

Malacañang earlier said it is set to issue an Executive Order (EO) to address the many issues involving the supply and distribution of water in Metro Manila.

READ: Malacañang to release executive order on water shortage

The MWSS, for its part, assured that short-term and medium-term solutions are in place to hopefully address the water shortage.

“Hopefully, all these solutions that we have provided are on track, then maybe by April things will go back to normal,” MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said. – Robie de Guzman

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DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 04:34 PM

The Department of Health (DOH) has raised concerns during the ongoing water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas especially with the increasing dengue cases in the country.

The recent report of DOH Epidemiology Bureau has recorded 40,614 dengue cases dengue cases from January 1 to March 2 which is 68% higher compared to the same period last year.

According to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, the water collected by residents can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes especially if it is not used immediately.

Duque encourages the public to use the 4-S strategy:

  • Search and destroy breeding places
  • Secure self-protection
  • Seek early consultation
  • Support spraying to prevent impending outbreak

“Pwedeng takpan ng plastic, talian sa may labi ng mga lalagyan at siguraduhin na ito’y hindi mapamugaran ng mga lamok. Doon ang kiti- kiti ay dadami, magiging lamok at sila ay magkakalat ng sakit sa dengue, [They can cover it with plastic and ensure that it will not become breeding grounds for mosquitoes because it can cause dengue],” he added. —Aileen Cerrudo

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