SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to review the contracts of Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., as the two companies started implementing rotating service interruptions on Thursday.
The senator stressed that the President was angered by reports of another water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
He recalled that early this year when there was a water crisis, the President also got mad and summoned officials of the two water companies and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
“Nagalit ang Pangulo; binuksan naman nila, merong tubig. Hindi ako naniniwala sa mga shortage na ‘yan (The President got angry; they did something, there was water. I don’t believe the report on water shortage),” Go said.
“Yes, dapat ipa-review ng Pangulo. I will suggest to the President na i-review ‘yung kontrata na hindi po pabor sa taumbayan (Yes, the President should [order] the review, I will suggest to the President to review the contract that is not favorable to the people),” he added.
“Dapat ‘pag pumasok ka sa kontratang ‘yan ay dapat panindigan niyo ‘yung supply ng tubig, pati ‘yung babayaran, penalties (If you enter into such contract, you should deliver the needed water supply and pay the fines, penaties). Do not pass the burden to the public,” he said.
“Pumasok po kayo diyan sa negosyong ‘yan, sagutin niyo po. Huwag po kayong pumirma ng kontrata na hindi niyo kayang i-comply ‘yung pagsu-supply ng tubig (You entered into this business, you have to answer for it. You should have not signed the contract if you cannot comply with the required supply of water),” Go said.
Meanwhile, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said it would maintain the current water releases for domestic consumption in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces to arrest the decline in the water level of Angat Dam, its top official said.
“The reduction in allocation (46 to 40 cubic meters per second or m3/s) for October and November is part of our mitigating plan to address the lowering of the Angat Dam’s water level and should the normal high water level of 212 meters by the end of the year not be attained,” NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. said in a text message to The Manila Times on Friday.
Water releases from the dam to the MWSS was lower than the allocation of 48 m3/s on normal days.
Nonetheless, concerned agencies are considering some measures to ease the problem such as cloud seeding and the tapping of more deep wells.
“Cloud seeding is being discussed with relevant agencies such as the MWSS [and] the Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) and Bureau of Soils [and Water Management under the Department of Agriculture] on its viability,” David said.
“Some measures being undertaken are the activation and establishment of deep wells, augmentation from the water treatment plants in Laguna Lake, aggressive campaign on water conservation and responsible use of water including rainwater harvesting,” he added.
Areas affected by rotational service interruptions include the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasig, Pasay, Quezon, San Juan, Taguig and Valenzuela, as well as the municipality of Pateros in Metro Manila.
Bacoor, Cavite City, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in the province of Cavite; Bulacan; and Angono, Antipolo, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Jalajala, Rodriguez, San Mateo, Taytay and Teresa in Rizal province were also affected.
With a reports from JORDEENE B. LAGARE