CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña sees “no major problem” as far as the urban section of the city is concerned on the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

He said those affected are only the farming communities, but the City Government is helping them by providing hoses and even pumps.

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“In Cebu City, it is only the farming communities that are affected. But I do not expect a major problem as far as the city is concerned,” he said.

“There are guys looking into it… I’m not going to hit the panic button,” Osmeña said.

The mayor also criticized those who build homes in upland areas, where there is no water, and then lament about the city for failing to provide them with water.

“Why don’t they go to a place where there is water? They go to a place where there is no water, and then I have to provide you with water. It’s not fair for the City,” he said.

He used as example Barangay Busay, where people built their homes in areas that are unreachable by the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD).

“Nindot ang lugar, nindot ang view, so motukod sila didto. Human mosyagit sila tagai ko’g tubig bi. Nganong mohatag ko’g tubig nga naa may tubig sa ubos,” Osmeña said.

He said a new mayor will do his best to accommodate such demand even if the residents are the ones who opted to build their homes in an area inaccessible to water.

The farmers in the mountain barangays have been getting support from the City on their requests for containers, hoses, and other items they need to bring water to their plants.

He said surface water is just one source in the city, where deep wells are common.

Drillings are also being done in a few barangays of the City to extract water that would be sold to the MCWD for city constituents.

At the South Road Properties, the mayor said there are wells that are not used yet.

The City Government also has a desalination plant that can provide 500 cubic meters to 1,000 cubic meters of water for concessionaires.

“The cost of desalination has gone down tremendously. You can even produce water and sell it at MCWD rates,” Osmeña said.

He said Pond A of the SRP was not filled up primarily to serve as catch basin, where water salinity is 20 percent lower compared to regular seawater.

He said that is the reason the City does not allow the use of fertilizers in the area to keep the water from being contaminated.

Water supply in Cebu City is expected to dwindle in the coming months because of the summer season and the dry spell caused by El Niño.