Labella orders having rainwater catchments in establishments
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered the implementation of a 13-year-old ordinance on rainwater conservation that would entail all establishments to have rainwater catchments.
The mayor met with the city’s Water Advisory Committee and Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) General Manager Stephen Yee on Thursday, November 21, to discuss the immediate solution for the lack of water supply in many of the barangays in spite of the rainy season.
Labella said that Barangays Kamputhaw, Sambag I, Apas, Punta Princesa, and Inayawan are among the most affected barangays with the water shortage and the city and MCWD has sent 10 water tanks in shifts to provide water to these areas.
Yet the mayor said this was not a sustainable solution, and the city would have to work together to help solve the “water crisis.”
In 2006, the City Council passed the Rainwater Conservation Ordinance which was proposed by Councilor Nestor Archival.
The city has never fully implemented the ordinance despite urgings from the City Council.
“This ordinance has been unimplemented for so many years, but if we implement it, there will be no water crisis,” he said.
Engineer Bo Marquez, the chairperson of the Water Advisory Committee, said that if water catchments would be placed in every establishment, this could collect at least 1.5 cubic meters per year per square foot of roof.
A household typically uses 1 cubic meter of water per day, according to the records of the MCWD.
Marquez said they were recommending that the city implement the ordinance and ensure that water catchments would be part of the design of building-permit applicants, while all standings buildings should be installed with rainwater catchment facilities.
He said harvesting water during the rainy season could allow a household to conserve water and store it for the dry season.
Labella said he would be issuing an executive order to the Office of the Building Official (OBO) to begin the implementation of the ordinance.
This would mean that all establishments and residential structures without water catchment facilities could be fined up to P250,000 for violating the ordinance.
However, Labella said there would be a transition period for the implementation of the ordinance in order to allow the establishments and residents to comply with the ordinance.
Furthermore, the city is already in talks with hardware stores to make available do-it-your-own water catchments that will allow households to build their own water catchment facilities. /dbs
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