RESIDENTS in areas served by Manila Water Co. can now heave a sigh of relief after the utility concessionaire announced on Thursday that the planned water service interruption scheduled next week has been deferred.
Manila Water spokesman Dittie Galang said they are still getting enough water from Ipo Dam and La Mesa Dam but said the supply from Angat Dam has lessened.
Among the areas that would have been affected are parts of Quezon City, Taguig City, Pasig City and Marikina City, all in Metro Manila; Antipolo City; and Rodriguez town (formerly Montalban).
The planned rotational water interruption, however, may push through on the second week of September depending on the amount of rainfall in the coming days.
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) earlier said some 355,500 households in Metro Manila and nearby provinces would experience up to 12 hours of water interruptions starting next week because of effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
Malacañang on Thursday assured the public that water will flow from taps despite an El Niño episode that is expected to intensify in the coming months.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said water supply has not reached “critical” levels and that the government is preparing all measures to mitigate the impact of the El Niño.
“Ginagawa ang lahat ng nararapat upang maibsan ang malawak na epekto ng El Nino at tagtuyot [All necessary measures are being done to mitigate the widespread effects of El Niño dry weather],” Coloma told reporters.
“Sa ngayon ay pinag-aaralan ang mga opsyon at hindi pa naman talaga pumapasok doon sa kritikal na panahon [For now, various options are being studied and the critical period has not yet started],” he added.
Meanwhile, Coloma asked the public not to panic and instead help conserve water since the El Niño dry weather may affect the country’s farmlands and reservoirs.
The strong impact of the El Niño on food-producing areas, he said, may be felt in the last quarter of the year and persist until the first quarter of 2016.
“Pinaghahandaan ito pero hindi naman kailangang maligalig ang ating mga mamamayan [We are preparing for this but there is no need for the public to panic],” Coloma said.
Apart from ensuring stable water supply, he added, the government will also take “action measures” so the country’s food supply and price will remain stable.
“Walang hoarding na magaganap, walang magsasamantala sa sitwasyon na inaasahang maaaring lumubha kapag dumating ‘yung matinding tagtuyot [There will be no hoarding, no exploiting of the situation that we expect may become severe once the dry spell starts],” he said.