A MEMBER of the Cebu City Council has been considering forming a water resources committee to help solve problems with the city’s water supply.
Councilor Rey Gealon tabled a resolution urging Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia to create a committee that will focus on, but not be limited to, conducting studies and research on water dams and other technologies such as desalination plants to address water supply concerns.
Gealon told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, November 13, 2022 that with the impending increase in Cebu Metropolitan Water District (MCWD) water rates, now is the time for the City Council to pay attention appropriate to the question.
“Now, more than ever, with the impending increase in water tariffs announced by MCWD in the face of the water crisis, I deem it essential that this Sanggunian establish the said committee to deliberately focus on initiatives and solutions for a sustainable water sector,” he said.
On Thursday, November 10, the MCWD held a public hearing in Barangay Apas for its proposed water tariff adjustments which will be implemented on July 1, 2023, if approved. The increase in the water tariff is planned at 60% plus an additional adjustment of 10% in 2024.
In his resolution, Gealon also mentioned that scarcity of water supply and poor water potability and sanitation have exposed Filipinos to detrimental health risks.
The Councilor said that water resources management is not only a concern of the national government but also of the local government units (LGUs) since the provision of water services is among the basic services and facilities that the LGUs have to provide to their constituents.
Gealon believed that carrying out research on water dams and introducing desalination plants could help solve problems with water supply.
During Mayor Michael Rama’s investment search in Manila last September, the mayor reportedly secured an investment from ports and casino magnate Enrique Razon Jr., now also chairman of Manila Water Co., to fund and build a dam in the city.
Gealon also tabled a separate resolution supporting Senate Bill 87 or “an act creating the Department of Water Resources,” authored by Senate President Miguel Zubiri. (IRT)