Antis file protest vs BCDA

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


THE water permit application of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is a stab on the back of concessionaires of water resources within its jurisdiction, a local official said.

Councilor and ABC president Michael Lee Lawana expressed his reservations about the water permit application of the BCDA before the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) filed last April.

In a press statement, BCDA spokesperson Leilani Macasaet clarified BCDA is just fulfilling its mandate and duty to ensure its water sources are protected and well preserved.

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Lawana, who is also the barangay captain of Dagsian, is still annoyed by the move of BCDA, which earlier explained it had to apply for a permit "so that it could protect, sustain and regulate the extraction of the scarce water resource so that more people can enjoy it."

"It is common sense that since ginagamit at iniinom namin 'yan (water from the source), we've been protecting the sources since before," he said.

While BCDA president and CEO Arnel Casanova maintained the move was "to protect and preserve the water resources and not to further exploit it," Lawana said they should have consulted concessionaires sharing the same water resources.

"Kung 'yun pala ang intensyon nila, beforehand dapat sana may consultation before sila nagapply," he said.

"Kung nakita namin na maganda pala ang purpose nila baka inendorse pa namin di ba? Hindi sana namin kinokontra," he added.

Lawana feared that with the application of water permit of the BCDA, concessionaires will have to get water from the BCDA under their own regulations thus limiting their water supply.

"Even if they will maintain the supply to us, definitely they will ask for a certain amount," he assumed.

The councilor said barangays Greenwater Village, Happy Hollow and Hillside have already filed their protest with the NWRB regarding the matter.

"We are anticipating the other 14 covered barangays to file their protests," he ended.

Aside from the separate protests of each barangays, the City Legal Office was tasked by the City Council to draft a consolidated and formal petition to be submitted to the NWRB.

The City Council earlier backed the protests of barangays stressing the water permit application of BCDA is a violation of condition 3 provided in Resolution 362, which states that necessary additional water supply to be used in the zone's operations "shall be sourced outside of the City of Baguio."

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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