Cebu City gov't, private sector meet to address water shortage
CEBU CITY, Philipines – At least 23 representatives from the public and private sector met with the Cebu City government to discuss solutions to the water crisis in Cebu City on Monday, April 11.
Last March, Cebu City filed a resolution declaring the city under a 'state of preparedness.' On Friday, April 8, a state of calamity was declared due to the water shortage.
“Dili duwa-duwa ang concern sa tubig” (water concerns are not a joke), Cebu City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama said in his opening statement to the meeting and reminded Cebu City residents to conserve water.
Attendees of the emergency meeting included representatives from the MCWD, SM Malls, Gaisano Country Mall and Castle Peak Hotel and the National Irrigation Administration, among others.
They pledged to help to donate drinking water and source water for other uses for residents in affected areas.
On April 15, the city declared a state of calamity due to the water shortage. The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) announced 15-hour water outages in at least 44 areas around Metro Cebu.
Water supplies at the Jaclupan dam in Talisay City and Buhisan dam in Cebu City are both at critically low levels.
The MCWD serves as water supplier to residents and businesses in Cebu CIty, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City, Consolacion and Liloan.
According to MCWD spokesperson Charmaine Rodriguez-Kara, because of the dry surface water and dams, they are looking at filling a shortage of 25,000 cubic meters per day in water production to meet the daily average of 214,000 cubic meters needed to supply enough water for residents.
They plan on filling this void by purchasing water from other sources, and redirecting water through various injection points in Metro Cebu.
According to state weather agency PAGASA, El Niño will last up until June 2016.
“The city government needs volunteers to distribute around the city since there is actually enough water, what we lack is deployment and distribution of the water,” said Cebu City’s legal officer Jerone Castillo said in Cebuano.
Pilipinas Water Resources Incorporated (PWRI), a water utility company operating at the South Road Properties (SRP), announced that they are and have been giving free water to public areas from 5:00 am to 6:00 am and from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) and other private water suppliers also offer free domestic and drinking water to affected areas.
The Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) will determine which barangays would need to be prioritized for water assistance. – with reports from Icy Remolino, Geramyn Nob and Ryan Macasero/Rappler.com
Kent Pepito, Icy Remolino and Geramyn Nob are Rappler interns