Public-private alliance sought to solve water crisis

BUSINESS stakeholders are urging the government and the private sector to work together to address the water problem.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Stanley Go said water is vital, especially for manufacturing companies, because of its many uses in the production.

“Water is crucial in various manufacturing companies. Looking at food manufacturing companies, water is not just an ingredient but it is needed to clean machines and facilities after every operation,” he said.

With the ongoing water shortage, Go said business operations would be hampered. He cited several initiatives of private companies to have their own source without solely relying on a provider.

“Water shortage will lead to manufacturing disruptions. Some manufacturing companies have implemented water saving measures like water treatment, water conservation, rain water catchments since it is basic to every company’s sustainability in operations,” he said.

“We have also looked into desalination, but the cost to produce clean water from this process is quite high,” he added.

Go noted several companies, especially in the city, have been affected more than in farther towns in the island of Cebu but urged stakeholders to help solve the problem.

“It is a concern that needs careful planning and is a joint responsibility of the government and private sector,” he said.

Hurts image

With the shortage of water supply, Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club (FilCeb), expressed concerns on it hurting the image of Cebu as a hub for investments.

He said water is crucial for business operations and without it, every business owner’s day-to-day activities might get hampered.

“Water is life. It’s not good for Cebu as an investment hub if the basic need like water has no stable supply,” he said.

Calooy said their organization urged the government to engage in public-private partnerships to tap more water sources.

“If the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) cannot supply the water, we, Filceb, strongly recommend to engage in private-public partnerships like tapping the Inabanga, Bohol water sources. We must act now before it’s too late,” he said.

Calooy said it is viable to source water from Bohol province since the distance to it is shorter compared to other towns in Cebu.

“It has been a longtime plan to have pipes installed through the Cordova-Getafe bridge because Inabanga is reportedly one of the biggest water sources in Bohol. If we could buy water there, it would also potentially increase the revenue of the people in Bohol,” he said.

Last week, the towns of Consolacion, Cordova and Liloan and the cities of Talisay, Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue passed resolutions or otherwise expressed their dissatisfaction with the poor service of MCWD, the government-owned and -controlled corporation that distributes water to eight towns and cities in Metro Cebu.

The Cebu Provincial Board went further, asking the Office of the Ombudsman to consider filing charges against MCWD officials for the inadequate water supply in the metro. (JOB)


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