THE Iloilo City Council has placed the metropolis under a state of calamity due to water crisis.
Members of the council unanimously approved during a special session on April 26 the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) Resolution 04 recommending the calamity declaration.
The approval came after it met three out of five criteria of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Memo 86, series of 2018, which reiterated the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Memo 4, series of 1998 that provided the guidelines and criteria. The regulation prescribes two or more of the five criteria.
The CDRRMC recorded some 25 percent affected population, more than the 20 percent requirement. Assessment showed 49 affected barangays with a total population of 117,265 or 23,453 total households.
The City Agriculturist's Office also reported widespread destruction particularly of crops, and other agricultural products.
The CDRRMC also assessed disruption of lifelines such as potable water system.
Advisory 3, issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on April 5, stated that El Niño conditions continue to persist and that majority of climate models suggest around 75 percent probability of El Niño condition to continue until August.
The rainfall assessment of Pagasa as of March 2019 also showed that Iloilo City is under a dry spell meteorological condition, which means it experienced below normal rainfall for three consecutive months.
“The El Niño caused the drying up of wells and other water resources in the barangays resulting [in] higher demand for potable water supply by communities dependent on the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) connection to which the latter cannot provide due to limited piping system,” the CDRRMC resolution stated.
During the CDRRMC meeting, City Agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon confirmed that the El Niño phenomenon has severely affected the agricultural production in the city.
MIWD officer-in-charge Amarylis Josephine Castro confirmed that Barangays Bo. Obrero, City Proper, Boulevard, San Juan, Baluarte, Mansaya, Ingore, Fundidor and Timawa are “experiencing severe water shortage due to weak pressure.” (PR)