WITH southern Cebu boasting of several falls and rivers, tapping its surface water might be a viable solution to Metro Cebu’s water problem.
So said incoming governor and outgoing Rep. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) during a press conference Saturday, May 25, 2019.
“We have the solution right here without needing to cross the sea and ask another island to give us their water. We have a lot of water here. It’s a matter of recognizing our sources and directing them to areas where these are needed,” she added.
Every year, tourists flock to the southern part of Cebu to take a dip in its waterfalls or explore its rivers.
These include the world renowned Bojo River in Aloguinsan and famous waterfalls, such as the Kawasan in Badian, Tumalog in Oslob, Aguinid in Samboan and Cambais in Alegria, among others.
Garcia said tapping surface water from these falls and rivers might help augment Metro Cebu’s existing bulk water supply.
“As we utilize perhaps Kawasan Falls in Badian or we try to look into the western part of Cebu, all of these might be tapped in order to address the need and not just for Metro Cebu, but including other barangays that still need level III water supply, that in this day and age, are still getting water in a deep well when we have so much water here,” she added.
When Garcia was governor in 2012, the Capitol entered into a joint-venture agreement (JVA) with Manila Water to manage the bulk water supply in Luyang River in the northern town of Carmen.
In 2014, the P1.1-billion water supply project started producing 35 million liters of water daily to homes in Metro Cebu.
The JVA provides that Manila Water will own 51 percent of the bulk water project while the Provincial Government owns 49 percent.
“Why is it important that the Province of Cebu retains that part of the partnership? Because the Province exercises supervisorial control over all other local government units where these water sources may be at. Is it being implemented already? Yes. Do we have enough water here in the City of Cebu? No. That is why we’re trying to tap other sources,” Garcia said.
Aside from tapping surface water in the south, the governor-elect is also exploring the possible option to expand the distribution of water in areas not covered by the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.
Meanwhile, in a press statement dated May 25, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) said it is working with National Government agencies to build more dams in Cebu.
The project is seen to help in flood control and serve as mitigation during the rainy season.
“This is a two-pronged project as it will address two major issues: water shortage and flooding. During the hot season, we easily experience water shortage because we do not have the capacity to store enough water to last through the dry season. This will be effective in sustaining the potable water supply as well as irrigation in the mountain barangays in Cebu City and the Province, to avoid substantial damage to crops and income losses for our farmers,” the Opav said. (RTF)