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Clamor for water department snowballs



Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) chief Jeci Lapus is all for the creation of a Department of Water to make it easier to consolidate agencies in the event of another crisis in the future.

Lapus, in a radio interview, said the LWUA supervises over 500 water districts, with less than half belonging to concessionaires.

“Angat Dam supplies more than 80% of water needs. But with the El Niño season that dried up our rivers, we’re helpless. A Department of Water will integrate all water agencies and will lessen bureaucracy, ” said Lapus.

Senator-elect Francis Tolentino likewise backed the department, something he repeatedly proposed during the campaign.

“Right now, all we have are short-term solutions, even the increase in water rates which I contested with the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System),” said Tolentino in another radio interview. “I hope my fellow senators will realize that it is time to create this department now.”

As of 6 a.m. today, 27 June, Angat’s water level dropped to 158.15 meters, 0.25m lesser than Wednesday’s.

Socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia proposed the creation of a Department of Water. Like Lapus, he hopes it would meet its purpose of ensuring adequate water supply by synchronizing the functions of all relevant agencies.

Maynilad has released a new water interruption schedule effective today.

“Maynilad continues to fine-tune its distribution of water supply given the reduced raw water releases from Angat Dam. To ensure that the limited supply is equitably and efficiently distributed to its customers, Maynilad will be implementing a new schedule of rotational service interruptions,” a Maynilad statement read.

Manila Water likewise appealed for understanding from affected customers.

“The hours of water supply availability may vary, especially in high elevation areas and those farthest from our facilities, as we continue to manage supply and pressure in our distribution system to make water available for all our customers,” Manila Water announced. “Emergency incidents and activities such as breakages and leak repairs may also affect the accuracy of the schedules. Please bear with us.”

Tropical Storm “Dodong” exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday but did not bring the much-anticipated rainfall that could at least halt Angat Dam’s continued dip.

Meanwhile, a Low Pressure Area (LPA) may develop into a storm once it enters PAR on Friday.

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