Water interruptions loom as NWRB cuts allocation for Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   June 14, 2019   •   3159

MANILA, Philippines – The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has reduced the allocation for Metro Manila amid the continued drop in water levels at Angat Dam, which is the metropolis’ main water source, an official said Friday.

The NWRB lowered the allocation for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to 46 cubic meters per second (CBS) for the month of June from the average 48 CBS last month.

NWRB director Servillano David said they were forced to cut down Metro Manila’s water allocation after water level at Angat dam dipped further. The latest water level is at 163.66 meters, which is 16 meters below the normal operating level of 180.

David said the current water level is expected to go down further in the coming days and may breach the critical level of 160 meters if there will be no enough rain at the Angat watershed area.

“Sa ganoong level po at 160 meters, magkakaroon na ng isyu in terms of availability ng supply,” he said.

“Sa ngayon bumababa pa rin siya despite the pronouncement ng PAGASA na parating na ang onset ng rainy season. ‘Yung mga pag-ulan na inaasahan natin dun sa Angat water shed ay hindi po dumarating,” he added.

Looming water service interruptions

With the dwindling water level at the Angat dam, consumers are told to brace for possible water interruptions.

East zone water concessionaire Manila Water Co. said it is already trying to manage its supply by implementing water interruptions during off-peak hours.

“Ang ginagawa lang natin ngayon, patuloy ang operational adjustment natin. Pero in the event na hindi na kaya ng sistema natin na mag-provide pa ng additonal water supply, talagang magbabawas tayo,” said Jeric Sevilla, spokesperson for Manila Water.

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc., meanwhile, said it also implemented water interruptions from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. when water usage is usually low.

“During night time para po mabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na ma-refill ‘yung aming reservoirs para during peak hours naman po sa araw ay hindi po mararamdaman ng aming mga customer itong pagbaba ng supply sa Metro Manila,” said Ronald Padua, who heads Maynilad operations.

Water concessionaires said the limited water supply will especially affect consumers in elevated areas.

Consumers are advised to contact hotlines and social media accounts of Maynilad and Manila Water for further details on water service interruptions.

The NWRB also called on the public anew to use water responsibly and wisely, to store rainwater and to recycle wastewater for other purposes. (with details from Joan Nano)

Community pantry organizers in Metro Manila urged to coordinate with LGUs

Robie de Guzman   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) called on organizers of community pantries in the metropolis to have prior coordination with their respective local government units (LGU) to ensure that COVID-19 health protocols are properly observed.

While lauding the Filipino spirit of bayanihan as community pantries emerge on various parts of Metro Manila, the MMC, by virtue of Resolution No. 21-08 Series of 2021, underscored the importance of coordination to sustain the downward trend two-week growth rate of COVID-19.

Citing data from the Department of Health, the MMC said the growth rate of COVID-19 lowered to -5% within the period of March 21 to April 17 from 164% for the period February 28 to March 27.

“While the organizers of community pantries exemplify collective charity and concern for the plight of the underprivileged and are truly worthy of emulation, support, and praise, the primordial minimum public health standards under the prevailing community quarantine must remain paramount,” the resolution stated.

“The sacrifices endured and gains accumulated during the ECQ and MECQ must not be put to waste by a disregard of the prohibition on mass gatherings, observance of social distancing, and the wearing of face masks and face shields,” it added.

The council approved the resolution on April 23. The MMC is composed of 17 Metro Manila mayors.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, said advance coordination would allow LGUs to set up measures to ensure the observance of physical distancing and other public health protocols in community pantries.

Community pantries’ adherence to the prevailing health guidelines is also part of the Filipino bayanihan spirit that it is promoting, he added.

“As the community pantries intend to extend assistance to our kababayans, let us be reminded that aside from giving food at this time, one of the noblest kind of help is making sure that they are not at risk of acquiring the virus which, at worst, can cost their lives,” Abalos said.

The MMDA chief also reminded that individuals aged 17 below and senior citizens aged 65 and older should stay at home, in compliance with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Metro Manila mayors to meet Sunday to discuss next quarantine status

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mayors in Metro Manila are set to meet on Sunday, April 25, to discuss their recommendation for the next quarantine status of the National Capital Region (NCR), Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said.

In a radio interview on Friday, Olivarez said they would deliberate on their recommendation, as well as the COVID-19 situation in each local government unit (LGU) in the NCR with representatives from the Department of Health.

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until April 30 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Olivarez said their recommendation on whether to extend or lift the MECQ will be based on data from LGUs in the NCR.

The MMC chief assured they will evaluate the matter thoroughly as it involves 16 cities and one municipality in the region.

Water supply in Angat Dam enough until the onset of next rainy season — NWRB

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) assured that there is sufficient water supply for the duration of the dry season.

This was confirmed in a text message to UNTV by NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David.

“Water supply during the duration of summer is sufficient until the onset of the next rainy season,” he assured.

As of Thursday (April 15) at 6:00 a.m., water level in Angat Dam rests at 203.17 masl.

David said the allocation for potable use in April remains at 48 cms while water allocation for irrigation remains at 25 cms.

The supply level is maintained for the month of April to support efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through handwashing and other sanitation works.

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