Residents in Taytay, Rizal fight over water supply amid week-long shortage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2019   •   1309

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Tensions are rising as several residents of Brgy. Muzon in Taytay, Rizal continue to suffer zero water supply for over a week.

According to Barangay Chairman Frank Luster Santos, residents are becoming aggressive towards local authorities and at each other over rations from Manila Water.

“Ang problema lang hinaharang ng mga tao mismo [trak ng tubig]. Kung haharangin po nila at inaaway po kami, pati ang Manila Water po ay inaaway din po (The problem is, residents are trying to corner the truck of water. When we block them, they turn on us and the personnel of Manila Water),” he said.

One of the residents, Fatima Co said the ration delivered by Manila Water doesn’t even reach their area.

“Pero member din naman kami ng Manila Water. Kung sino ang malakas iyon ang maano, paano kami doon sa dulo, wala na. Hindi na kami nadadatnan ng tubig, (We are members of Manila Water too, but only those with personal connections to influential people get water first. What about us, nothing is left for us)” she said.

Co adds they have been experiencing water interruptions for a month.

Meanwhile, in a text a message to UNTV, Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said that barangay Muzon continue to experience lack of water supply because of their steep location.

“We hope to improve the water supply situation in the next few days after the completion of the testing of the booster and pipe,” he said

Residents like Co had no choice but to collect water from a nearby spring.

However, the line to the spring is also long. There is also no assurance that it is safe to drink. Residents use the water for laundry and bath. But, according to some residents, if left with no choice, they would use it for drinking too.

Other residents would also pay someone just to carry heavy water containers uphill. They pay P5 to P120 depending on the water containers to be carried.

Hermy Obinguar, one of the residents, said their dilemma forces them to have unnecessary expenses.

“Ang budget sira. Imbis na ipangbili na lang ng ulam, pagkain, ibabayad pa namin para buhatin ang tubig namin, (Our budget is ruined. Instead of buying food, we pay someone just to carry our water),” he said.

Barangay Chairman Santos said they are trying to resolve the water problem but all they can do for now is remind residents to conserve water.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

Angat Dam water level dips further below critical level

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 11, 2019

As of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday (July 11), the water level in Angat Dam has dipped lower than the critical level at 159.93 meters.

This is lower compared to the 160.30 meters recorded on Wednesday (July 10).

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) reduced the amount of  water allocated to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 46 cubic meters per second (cms) to 36 cms.

Meanwhile, Maynilad and Manila Water continue to implement water service interruptions.—AAC

Group urges Gov’t to limit water usage in pools, other businesses amid supply woes

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2019

Photo by Nelly Aran from Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – A labor group on Saturday (June 22) called on the national government to intervene in the worsening water supply issues in Metro Manila due to the rapidly dropping water level at Angat Dam.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) suggested for the government to limit the usage of water-intensive facilities, such as swimming pools and other businesses until the water at Angat dam stabilizes.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Saturday reported that Angat Dam’s water level dropped to 159.78 meters.

“Because water is a basic requirement for the 13 million Metro Manila residents, it must be given priority over the profit margin of businesses,” the group said in a statement.

“To address the intermittent water supply required to households of Metro Manila, government must intercede to limit the water usage of water-intensive facilities and businesses such as golf courses, swimming pools and water fountains,” it added.

The group estimated there are about 15 golf courses in areas covered by both water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, including publicly-owned Veterans and Camp Aguinaldo golf courses in Quezon City and the Army and Navy golf clubs in Fort Bonifacio.

There are also over 10,000 swimming pools all over the metropolis, including water parks, swimming resorts, club houses, indoor pools of condominiums and private pools in posh subdivisions.

“Why should the people stand in line for water rations on a daily basis when the elite consume so much water for their luxuries? Why are the poor again the first to sacrifice during a water crisis when they did not benefit when both Maynilad and Manila Water were brimming with profit,” said BMP leader Leody De Guzman in a statement.

The BMP also called for the suspension of building permits for new businesses which require huge amounts of water until Angat dam water level stabilizes.

The group also called on the government, particularly the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to study the deployment of more radical contingency measures to address the worsening water supply in Metro Manila as its public appeal for water conservation is not enough.

The BMP is also pushing for the reversal of the policy of water privatization that resulted into the concession of the operations of the Metropolitan Wateworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS).

The group claims the privatization of Metro Manila’s water supply did not improve services and sustain the needs of Metro Manila residents.

NWRB further reduces MM water allocation as Angat Dam runs dry

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila residents will have to race each other for water rations as taps may dry out due to the continues drop in Angat Dam’s water level.

According to NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David, the reduction of water allocation for Metro Manila from 40 cubic meters per second to 36 cms. takes effect today Saturday (June 22).

As of 6:00 a.m. Saturday (June 22), Angat Dam’s water level has dropped further below critical mark by 0.50 meters to 159.78 meters from 160.28 meters on Friday.

David confirmed that if Angat’s water reserve dips further at the rate of 0.50 meters per day within the next five days, it will break the lowest level recorded at 156.57 meters in July 2010.

On June 18, the NWRB reduced the water allocation for Metro Manila from 46 cms to 40 cms to lessen the effect of limited water supply in the coming days.

Nevertheless, state weather bureau PAGASA’s weather specialist Chris Perez said some parts of the country including Metro Manila may expect rains next week.

“Possible po kasi na mid next week hanggang weekend may mga pagulan (Rains are possible by mid next week until weekend) over some parts of Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas because of a possible habagat episode,” Perez said.

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