Metro Cebu also hit by water crisis

Freema Gloria   •   March 16, 2019   •   3056

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

DILG tells LGUs to hasten processing of permits for water projects

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged all local government units to hasten the processing of necessary permits for water-related projects in order “to expedite their completion and enhance water security.”

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this is to help avert the possible water crisis that may hit parts of the country this year.

“Malaking perhuwisyo para sa ating mga kababayan kapag kulang o walang tubig. Kaya inaatasan ko ang ating mga LGUs na paspasan ang pagpoproseso ng mga kinakailangang permit para sa mga water projects upang maiwasan ang kakulangan sa tubig,”Año said in a statement.

In Memorandum Circular No. 2019-207, the DILG chief also called on local government officials to make the necessary preparations and extend support to start the water-related projects in their areas such as human resources, access roads to location, and availability of materials.

Section 17 of the Local Government Code mandates LGUs to exercise appropriate powers and discharge functions for the efficient and effective provision of basic services and facilities.

“Sa mga panahong ito na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nakakaranas na ng kakulangan sa tubig, kailangan na nating magtulungan at mabilis na aksyunan na ng mga LGUs ang mga water permits para masimulan at matapos na ang mga water projects sa kanilang lugar,”he said.

In March last year, thousands of residents in Metro Manila experienced water crisis due to the drop in water levels at Angat Dam which supplies water to Metro Manila and Central Luzon areas.

Water levels in Angat Dam even reached the critical level of 160 meters despite the onset of the rainy season last year which prompted the further reduction of water allocation.

Angat Dam water levels have since improved due to rains brought about by recent typhoons entering the country but is still below the target normal operating level of 212 meters.

As of 6 a.m. January 2, Angat Dam’s water level is at 202.60 meters.

Kung hindi tayo kikilos ngayon, lalala pa ang problema natin sa tubig at tayo lang din ang mahihirapan sa bandang huli,” Año said.

Likewise, he encouraged the public to conserve water and to take measures in their respective communities to effectively manage water consumption.

“Magsilbing paalala sa atin lahat na hindi lamang nakasalalay sa gobyerno ang seguridad ng supply ng tubig. Responsibilidad ng bawat isa sa atin ang magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig,” he said.

Road closure for 30th SEA Games torch run in Cebu, Nov. 16

Marje Pelayo   •   November 15, 2019

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The southbound lane of the South Road Properties in Cebu City will be temporarily closed on Saturday (November 16) to give way to the 30th South East Asian Games (SEA Games) torch run.

The six-hour closure will start at 2:00 PM from F. Vestil Street in front of SM Seaside towards the Boundary Bridge in Cebu and Talisay City.

Meanwhile, two-way traffic will be allowed on the northbound lane to accommodate motorists going to and from Cebu City and Southern Cebu.

Over 30 traffic personnel will be deployed in the area to secure the orderly flow of vehicles and prevent congestion.

Around 6,000 runners are expected to join the 5-km stretch run that will mark the official opening of the regional meet. – MNP (with reports from Gladys Toabi)

House joint panel approves proposed Department of Water Resources bill

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

Filipinos queue with their containers for a water ration at a residential district of Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – The House committees on government reorganization and on public highways on Tuesday jointly approved a consolidated bill seeking the creation of the Department of Water Resources Board (DWR) that will oversee policies on the country’s water supply.

The still unnumbered bill consolidated 35 House bills providing for the creation of the said agency.

Under the consolidated bill, the proposed Department of Water Resources will be the primary national agency to implement Presidential Decree No. 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, and Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

Its creation shall ensure that there is a government body responsible and accountable for all aspects of water resource management, including the development of dams and other infrastructure, the harvest of water, and the management of the waste water system.

“[Ang DWR] ang dapat sisihin kung may krisis sa susunod. Walang iba, wala kang ibang ituturo. Ang Department of Water na ito ang siyang responsible para resolbahin at maprevent ang water crisis,” said Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda, who sponsored the bill and authored one of the substituted measures.

The new department’s attached agencies will include the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System, the Local Water Utilities Administration, the Laguna Lake Development Authority, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, and the National Irrigation Administration.

The measure also provides for the creation of the Water Regulatory Commission, which shall serve as an independent body.

“‘Yung Department of Water essentially in charge of resource management. ‘Yung isa naman, economic regulation. Anong kaibahan? ‘Yung water resource management essentially paghahanap ng tubig, pagtransmit ng tubig. Pero pagdating sa epekto sa ekonomiya—halimbawa, sa presyo, sa taripa—’yan walang pakialam [ang DWR] except for siguro sa pagcharge ng fees for raw water pricing,” Salceda said.

Proponents of the bill said the measure is timely given the issues plaguing the water supply in Metro Manila.

It is also in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to lawmakers in his State of the Nation Address to create a water department to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Currently, the National Water Resources Board under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources oversees the country’s water resources.

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