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Water shortage increases use of disposable products—Ecowaste

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 04:19 PM

Residents are using a lot of single-use plastic disposables due to the ongoing water service interruption and it is hurting the environment, according to Ecowaste Coalition.

The environmental group said eateries and other households are turning to plastic-based items, to avoid using water amid the shortage. 

“The increased demand for disposable items during this time of water scarcity will surely add to the volume of residual garbage that generators from households to business establishments churn out every day,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero said more businesses might buy and use more single-use plastic disposables during the waterless period.

The group hopes for the water shortage to be resolved soon and urging residents to intensify water saving measures. —Aileen Cerrudo

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Go green for power: Alternative energy source in the country

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 22 March 2019 08:42 PM

Caliraya Hydroelectric Powerplant

The first power plant in the Philippines was built in Lumban, Laguna.

The Caliraya Hydroelectric Powerplant was built by the National Power Corporation (Napocor) after World War II in 1942. It can generate 728 megawatts of electricity that can supply power from Laguna to Bicol region through electric cooperatives.

Hydroelectric power or hydropower uses water to produce electricity instead of fuel.

The dam operated by the Carilaya Power Plant has given job opportunities to a lot of our fellowmen.

“Ngayon po may mga nagpipinta diyan mga taga-rito sa amin marami ding security guard na taga-rito sa amin diyan na duty, (Some of our residents paint the walls, many are working as security guards)” Brgy. Chairwoman Maria Dalisay Liwag said.

Liwag adds, aside from job opportunities Napocor also provides P182,000 every three months as financial assistance for their barangay.

Residents are confident they will not experience water shortage despite the start of dry season.

“Kahit maghapon kayo magigib ng magigib diyan ng inumin, mapalad talaga kami kahit ganitong mahirap dahil nakakatanggap kami ng biyaya galing diyan, (Even if we fetch water to drink all afternoon, we are still lucky because of this kind of blessing)” Liwag said.

FILE PHOTO: Windmills of Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte (PHOTOVILLE International / Reign Lichangco)

The Bangui Windmill is located in Ilocos Norte which is the first in Southeast Asia.

This is another renewable source of energy and it is owned by the Northwind Development Corporation.

Wind is used to move the wind turbines to create energy.

It does not produce any kind of pollution like traditional power plants that uses fuel and coal.

“Basically, it is good in the environment right so the lesser fuel that we have oil the lesser coal that we have is better for the community is better for the Philippines because we are able to provide power cleanly,” President of Northwind Power Development Corporation Gabino Ramon Mejia said.

Each wind turbine costs P1.5 to P1.8 billion and has a lifespan of 25 years. There are also 25 locals working in the Northwind Power Corporation.

“Our Phase 1 has been there since 2005 it has been there for 14 years but still running,” Mejia adds.

Residents said the wind mills supplies power in their area if there is shortage.

“Noong una madalas mag-brownout ngayon bihira na lang, (Brownout were frequent before, now it isnt’)” Rodelyn Savina said, a resident.

In 1980, the first nuclear powerplant in the country was built in Morong, Bataan as a solution in the energy and fuel crisis during 1970.

It has been 30 years since the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was built. It cost over $2 billion during the term of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

Based on the original design, the BNPP uses uranium that produces steam that will start the turbine and produce energy.

But it is not currently operation because of safety issues. It was closed down in 1986 due to the spate of accidents in nuclear power plants like the 3 mile island accident in the United States in 1979 and the Chernobyl in Russia in 1986.

The reopening of the BNPP was proposed in 2016.

For several residents in Morong, Bataan, there is no harm if the BNPP became operational.

Sylvia Magno, one of the residents, said their power rate is too high. It ranges from P1,800-P1,900.

She adds the reopening the power plant might lower the power rate.

“Okay iyon syempre mababa ang babayaran, magkakaroon ng trabaho mga tao dito para sa amin okay lang mga tagawalis man lang ng paligid dito (That is okay to lower power costs, there will also be jobs for us here like street sweeper)” Magno said.

More than $1 billion or P47 billion is needed to reopen the power plant.

Based on the study, the BNPP can produce 620 megawatt which is equal to 10% of the energy needed for the entire Luzon region.

The Philippines is rich in natural resources which can be a source of alternative energy.Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Leslie Huidem, Toto Fabros, and Sherwin Culubong

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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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