Imminent water crisis declared in Iloilo City
ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The city council declared Iloilo under a “state of imminent water crisis” on Wednesday, April 21, due to a projected prolonged drought.
The council made the unanimous declaration after the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council chaired by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog proposed the declaration in a resolution, as well as the preparation of a P3 million-fund for possible water rationing.
CDRRMC Resolution No. 001 series of 2015 cited the need for funds “in preparation for long drought as brought by the prolonged dry spell has identified possible alternative water distribution mechanisms and alternative water sources.”
Mabilog said this move will help the city barangays prepare their calamity fund, especially as some them have reported that their wells have dried up.
The mayor said that the city will be declared under a “state of water crisis" if there are no rains next week and the water supply remains low.
By that time, the villages will only have to pass for approval their calamity funds.
The P3-million fund, which can mobilized once the city is declared under crisis, will be used to buy containers for water distribution in affected barangays and for fuel expenses in transporting the water.
Councilor Joshua Alim said the P3 million will be drawn from the quick response fund of the local risk reduction management fund to which the local government allocates 5% of its annual budget.
Alim blames the water crisis on the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD), which cannot distribute the supposedly sufficient water supply because of narrow pipes.
“We have a lot water. Gamay ang tubo [sang MIWD]. Amu ni ang problema halin sang una....The solution is very simple. Padakuon ang tubo (The MIWD pipes are narrow. The solution is very simple. Make the pipes bigger),” he said.
Last week, Mabilog sought the assistance of the Iloilo Civilian Actions Group (ICAG) to help distribute water in some water-deficient villages in the city, particularly those along coastal and radial roads.
Mabilog also questioned why the long-standing problem of the incompatibility of MIWD water pipelines and that of the bulk water supplier still cannot be resolved.
In a news briefing on Monday, the MIWD admitted that they are on “crisis mode” as the Tugom River in Maasin, Iloilo, which serves as their primary water source, dropped to critical levels.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City was also declared under the “State of Imminent Calamity” in 2007 and under the “State of Water Crisis” in 2009. Last year, the council also passed a resolution granting the city authority to provide water rationing. – Rappler.com