Cebu City mayor creates water advisory committee to address water shortage issues
CEBU CITY— With Metro Cebu currently facing water shortage, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has created a water advisory committee.
“We have to look into the water shortage,” Labella said in an interview.
In his Executive Order 022 issued on Monday, October 7, 2019, Labella noted that concerns on water shortage, the El Niño phenomenon, and salt water intrusion, among others, have been plaguing Cebu and other parts of the country
“The Cebu City government sees the need to address these concerns, mitigate its impact, and prevent future problems that may arise from these for the welfare of its constituents,” he pointed out in his order.
Labella explained that the committee is tasked to gather and collect baseline data on water resources within Cebu City in coordination with other agencies and organizations. These would include, among others, surface water and underground water sources.
The committee is responsible for conducting studies for data collection on water resources management.
The Cebu City water advisory committee has 13 members, with Roberto Varquez as the chairperson.
The members include former MCWD chairman Ruben Almendras, Manuel Legaspi, Raul Abellana, architect Socorro Atega, Anton Mari Perdices, city administrator Floro Casas Jr., engineers Joel Reston, Edgar Sibonga, Ricardo Fornis and Kenneth Carmellita Enriquez, Ma. Nenita Jumao-as and Dr. Danilo Jaque.
Labella said he will be coordinating with the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) regarding the “seemingly inefficient handling” of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) on the water supply.
The mayor has earlier expressed disappointment over the performance of MCWD.
During an appearance before the Cebu City Council, MCWD vice chairman Ralph Sevilla cited various reasons for the water supply shortage. These include Metro Cebu’s population boom, over-extraction of groundwater, saltwater intrusion, the nitrate contamination of groundwater wells and the moratorium against drilling for ground water.
These factors limited the supply of MCWD water supply to only 250,000 cubic meters daily. Also, MCWD limited its groundwater extraction to 170,000 cubic meters daily to slow down groundwater depletion, Sevilla told the city council. /bmjo
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