SP tells water utilities: ‘Waive minimum rate’

ILOILO City – If they were unable to deliver water sufficiently, water utilities here must not impose their minimum rates on consumers, according to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP).

In a resolution, the SP stressed that consumers should not be forced to pay for the monthly minimum 10 cubic meters fee at this time when water supply has become unreliable due to the El Niño phenomenon.

“Sometimes consumers are rendered unable to fully utilize the minimum of 10 cubic meters through no fault of their own but by reason that there is no water or there is inadequate water coming out of their faucets,” said resolution sponsor Councilor R Leone Gerochi.

Metro Iloilo Water District’s minimum rate is between P200 to P640 (residential and government connections) for the first 10 cubic meters of water.

The other water utility here is the South Balibago Resources, Inc. (SBRI). It’s minimum rate is P357.50.

“Climate change has brought extreme dry season in the city of Iloilo. The supply and distribution of water has been affected negatively. Many areas which used to enjoy some slightly adequate water supply have suddenly been experiencing no water flow,” noted Gerochi.

On April 26, the SP placed this city under a state of calamity due to the El Niño. The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) reported that the city was able to meet three out of five conditions outlined in the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) Memorandum No. 86-2018 which set the guidelines for such declaration to happen. These three were:

* at least 20 percent of the population are affected and in need of emergency assistance or whose dwelling units have been destroyed

* widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestock, and other agricultural products

* disruption of lifelines such as electricity, potable water system, transport system, communications systems and other related systems which cannot be restored within one week, except for highly-urbanized areas where restoration of the of the above lifelines cannot be made within 24 hours./PN


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