City councilor files resolution for creation of water committee

A MEMBER of the Cebu City Council has proposed the creation of a committee on water resources to help address issues surrounding water supply in the city.

Councilor Rey Gealon filed 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 technology like desalination plants to address concerns about water supply.

Gealon told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, that with the impending increase in water rates of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), it is now timely for the City Council to give proper attention to the issue.

“Now, more than ever, with the impending increase in water rates as announced by MCWD vis-a-vis water crisis, I deem it indispensable for this Sanggunian to create said committee to deliberately focus on initiatives and solutions for a sustainable water sector,” he said.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the MCWD conducted a public hearing in Barangay Apas for its proposed water tariff adjustments that will be implemented on July 1, 2023, if approved. The increase in the water tariff is eyed at 60 percent plus a 10 percent supplementary adjustment in 2024.

In his resolution, Gealon also mentioned that scarce water supply and poor water potability and sanitation have exposed Filipinos to detrimental health risks.

The councilor said water resource management is not just a concern of the national government but also of local government units (LGUs) since the delivery of water services is part of the basic services and facilities that LGUs must deliver to their constituents.

Gealon believed that conducting research on water dams and introducing desalination facilities could help resolve issues surrounding water supply.

During the investment seeking of Mayor Michael Rama in Manila last September, the mayor reportedly secured an investment from ports and casino tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., now also chairman of Manila Water, to fund and build a dam in the city.

Gealon also filed a separate resolution supporting Senate Bill 87 or “an act creating the Department of Water Resources,” which was authored by Senate President Miguel Zubiri. (IRT)