ILOILO CITY: Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has raised the alarm on possible intrusion of saltwater to the city’s ground water table with the construction and installation of more shallow and deep wells due to shortage of water supply from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).
Mabilog said that he had already monitored some cases of saltwater intrusion on the ground water aquifers that also affects the environment.
He said the badly needs water supply as it is hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Council (APEC) meeting by October 2015. He said he does not want the foreign delegates to the international meetings to taste salt in their water supply.
He said the recent reinstatement of the regular board members of MWID by the court “is a good way to start the New Year” and the regular board must come up with measures to ensure enough water to over 21,000 water concessionaires in the city.
The city suffered from water shortage as MIWD failed to supply the needed 25,000 cubic meters per day due to a misunderstanding with its contracted bulk water supplier.
Mabilog urged the regular board, installed only Friday, to conduct a seamless operation since the Maasin watershed and the Cabatuan water sedimentation plant are only producing some 10,000 cubic meters per day of water, way below the 30,000-cu.m. requirements of the franchised concessionaires.
Mabilog said he is amenable to the bulk water supply project of a private contractor but the project was stagnated due to misunderstanding between MIWD management and the supplier.
After more than three years, the regular board members of MIWD resumed their old positions after the court reinstated them after reaffirming the sole right of Gov. Arthur Defensor to appoint the board members.
Mabilog, who had appointed the old board before MIWD but the Local Water Utilities Administration maneuvered to replace the old board with an interim set of officers.
But water district General Manager Lee Jayme Jalbuena insisted that the provincial governor had the sole right to appoint the board members as mandated by the MIWD charter.
Regional Trial Court Judge Danilo Galvez reaffirmed last year the authority of the provincial governor. Galvez did not decide on the fate of the regular members composed of chairman Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, Dr. Sergio Gonzalez, Engr. Adrian Moncada and Bernadette Castellano.
Defensor said he deemed it necessary to recognize the old board appointed by the city mayor as the court decides only on who is the appointing authority.