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Duque assures enough water supply in hospitals amid shortage

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque III

Amid the water shortage, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque III assured that hospitals will still have enough water supply.

“The uninterruptible operations of our hospitals are our priority. We cannot compromise the health of our patients. Our hospitals depend on the water supply for the hygiene and sanitation of our patients,” Duque said during his rounds at the Rizal Medical Center on Wednesday morning.

According to Duque, the Manila Water has vowed to prioritize hospitals and schools.

“Starting towards the end of the week, we’ll be implementing a new scheme so that the attainment of that objective for this big hospital to have a water to refill their system will be on a daily basis already,” Manila Water group director Linda Quines said.

Due to the assurance of enough water supply, the head of Rizal Medical Center (RMC) said they will no longer their limit admission of patients.

“In fact this morning I already lifted the limiting because we are experiencing a lot of patients. Our bed capacity is only 300 and yet our admitted reached up to 400…we had to use our hallway facilities,” RMC Medical Center Chief Dr. Relito Saquilayan said.

They are also rationing water in wards.

Patients in the OB wards are also required to bring water to clean their babies.

“Mineral ang pinapanlinis kapag walang supply. Napakahirap po lalo na pag maglilinis ng baby,” Rachel Carabje, one of the mothers in the hospital, said.

Meanwhile, Sec. Duque will visit the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) to check the state of the patients there and if the facility have enough water supply.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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Manila Water COO resigns

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water Co. Inc. chief operating officer Geodino V. Carpio has resigned from his post, the utility firm announced on Tuesday.

The Ayala-led water distributor said it has accepted Carpio’s resignation but did not explain why he is leaving the company.

Carpio officially steps down from office at the close of business hours on April 16.

Carpio, who served the company for 22 years, was recently visible to the public to explain the water shortage issue that gripped thousands of Manila Water’s clients in March.

Manila Water said that Abelardo Basilio, the current group director for strategic asset management and data protection officer, will replace Carpio as acting COO for Manila Water operations.

Basilio has been working for Manila Water for more than 20 years and previously headed the technical services group, corporate regulatory affairs, and served as group director for east zone business operations. – Robie de Guzman

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Duterte approves ‘in principle’ EO on water security

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

By Mietzekatze on Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the draft of an Executive Order (EO) that will hopefully address water supply issues in the country, a Cabinet official said on Monday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the EO, which will provide a master plan for water security, was approved “in principle” during the last Cabinet meeting.

“The draft has been given to the Office of the Executive Secretary already for vetting. So finalization na lang ‘yun ng draft, pipirmahan na lang ‘yun ng Pangulo,” Nograles said.

The EO mandates the reconstitution of the National Water Resources Board into a body that will manage the integration and coordination of government efforts in planning and implementing programs involving water.

The body is mandated to create a master plan on national water management composed of relevant and existing plans of agencies involved in the integrated water resource management (IWRM).

The EO will also seek a review of government agreements with water concessionaires.

The drafting of the EO came after a water shortage hit thousands of households being serviced by the Manila Water Company in eastern Metro Manila and Rizal province in March.

READ: Malacañang to release executive order to address water shortage

Nograles earlier said that before water interruptions gripped parts of Metro Manila, the government had already been working on the order to resolve water-related issues.

He said the inter-agency efforts were prompted by water management issues that were flagged in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

The issues include limited implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in many of the country’s river basins and watersheds, which results in the resources’ sub-optimal use and wastage; uncoordinated plans and programs and access to safe water supplies due to the uneven distribution of freshwater sources.

Nograles also mentioned the lack of updated and consolidated data on water resource availability, water stress levels, over/underutilization of resources, groundwater pollution, land subsidence and saltwater intrusion.

At least 32 agencies are involved in the water sector, with different offices involved in the various aspects of IWRM. – Robie de Guzman

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LIST: Manila Water identifies 20 areas to be given April full-bill waiver

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water Services Company has identified 10 more areas that have been validated as severely affected by the water supply shortage that hit the eastern zone of Metro Manila and parts of Rizal province in March.

On Monday (April 1), Manila Water released a partial list of areas that will be given a one-time full-bill waiver for their March consumption, to be reflected on their April bill.

READ: Manila Water releases list of areas to be given full bill waiver

The 20 barangays validated as severely affected by the metro water crisis are as follows:

MANDALUYONG

  • Barangay Addition Hills
  • Barangay Barangka Drive
  • Barangay Plainview
  • Barangay Highway Hills
  • Barangay Hulo
  • Barangay Barangka Ilaya
  • Barangay Barangka Itaas
  • Barangay Mauway
  • Barangay Pleasant Hills

PASIG

  • Barangay Kapitolyo
  • Barangay Bagong Ilog
  • Barangay Oranbo
  • Barangay Pineda
  • Barangay Ugong

TAGUIG

  • Barangay Upper Bicutan

SAN JUAN

  • Barangay Addition Hills
  • Barangay Santa Lucia

BINANGONAN, RIZAL

  • Barangay Mambog
  • Barangay Macamot
  • Barangay Tatala

Manila Water also clarified that a total of 45 barangays were severely affected by the water shortage.

However, not all consumers will get a full-bill waiver as Manila Water will only waive the minimum charge or the first 10 cubic meters consumed in a month in some households that experienced only a few hours of service interruption and were supplied with water from other reservoirs.

The utility company earlier said the April bill will be fully waived if residents experienced total water service outage for at least seven days, whether consecutive or not from March 6 to 31.

Around 1.2 million households in eastern Metro Manila and Rizal province were hit with low pressure to no water supply last month.

Meanwhile, both Manila Water and Maynilad are open to reviewing their concession agreement with the government following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to review all contracts entered into by the government.

READ: Duterte orders review of all gov’t deals

Manila Water said it is ready to talk with the government to find ways to ensure sustainable water security solution.

Maynilad, for its part, said it welcomes any review of the company’s obligations under the agreement as practiced by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

“Maynilad has always believed in the sanctity of the concession agreement and the merits of this public-private partnership as seen in the vast improvement in the service levels enjoyed by our customers since we took over,” the company said in a statement.

“We welcome any review of our obligations under this agreement as has been undertaken by our regulator since the start of the concession,” it added. – Robie de Guzman

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