Tuesday July 17, 2018

Oro chamber: Water woes bad for business

BUSINESSES in Cagayan de Oro City that rely on a sufficient supply of clean water are now complaining, saying the water crisis that hit the western part of the city beginning on September 26 has now severely affected their bottom lines.

Robert Pizarro, president of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro chamber), said the shortage of water is affecting not only communities within the city but also the industrial locators such as the San Miguel Brewery Inc., box manufacturing industries, feedmills, and integrated steel mills.

Pizarro said the sufficient supply of clean water has also become doubly important following the increase in population due to the relocation of families and students from Marawi City and its surrounding areas.

"It is a must to increase water availability in order to continue the interest in investing in Cagayan de Oro," Pizarro said.

Small businesses such as laundry shops are also feeling the pinch, according to Aldrin Tagapulot, receiving clerk of a laundry shop in Barangay Patag.

Tagapulot said there are days when they won't be able to finish the laundry in time for it to be claimed because of the lack of water supply.

"Naay time nga kuhaunon pero di na ma-claim kay wala pa nalabhan (There are times when the customers come to get their laundry but they wouldn't be able to claim them because they haven't been washed)," Tagapulot said.

He added that even with the situation, there wasn't any large decrease in their customer.

Tagapulot said they were able to cope up with the lack of water resource by storing water in containers.

"I-inform lang unta mi the day before nga walay tubig ugma para maka-prepare mi (We would like to be informed that there will be no water the day before so that we can prepare)," Tagapulot said.

Editha Aquino, the clothes washer of the said laundry shop, said she was forced to take the day off on the day when there was no water.

"Makurat lang mi kay wala nag announce nga ugma walay tubig. Katong that time nga napalong, wala gyud mi ka-prepare (We were shocked since there wasn't any announcement that there will be no water. That time, we were not prepared)," Aquino said.

She added that the unwashed laundry were stocked up since they weren't able to do anything.

Meanwhile, an owner of a water refilling station in barangay Patag who requested not to be identified said they were affected by the water crisis since their business depends on water provided by the Water District.

"Wala man mi (We don't have an) alternate source of water unlike sa uban nga naay ilang (the other water refilling stations, they have their own) deep well. Kami solely ga-depend sa (We solely depend on) Water District," he said.

He added that they suddenly have an increase in customer but they weren't able to provide water because of their lack of water supply.

"Daghan nag-demand kay wala man pu'y tubig sa ilang balay. Ilang gamiton pagluto, ilang gamiton pangligo nga wala nami mahatag (There was an increase of demand due to having no water in their houses. They use the water to cook and even to take a bath but we don't have enough water to give)," Mar said.

He said that they were able to continue their business operations by storing water during the evening.

"Kinahanglan gyud nga unta madali-dali ilang repair or unsa gani ang hinungdan sa mga aberya. Pareha aning among tindahan, among water refilling station, gamay ra gyud intawon. Dinhi ra mi nagsalig sa pagkaon, among panihanglan unya apektado pa mi (They need to work faster in their repairs or whatever it is that caused this to happen. Our water refilling station is a small business. This is where we get our source of income for food and other necessities. We were really affected)," Mar said.

Bulk water supplier Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc (RVWCI) on Tuesday, October 3, announced that the water supply will return to normal on October 6.

The company said the crisis was caused by a damaged pipeline under the Cagayan River that was destroyed due to strong water current and the damage caused by the 5.4-magnitude quake last September 24.