CEBU City’s 80 barangays are now under a state of calamity preparedness due to the El Niño phenomenon, as barangay and city officials get ready to address the water shortage problem, particularly in the upland areas.

The City Council passed a resolution Wednesday declaring Cebu City under a state of calamity preparedness due to the El Niño phenomenon, which is slowly drying up the city’s water sources.

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Worse still, the drought has affected the agricultural resources in the mountain villages, which the barangay captains brought to the mayor’s attention.

City Councilor Gerardo Carillo proposed the declaration so the City can tap its calamity funds for the contingency measures in mitigating the effects of the drought and helping the residents cope with the water shortage problem.

First among the priorities is the setting up of deep wells in areas where the people have scarce water supply, Mayor Tomas Osmeña told barangay captains yesterday morning.

He asked them to identify the areas where there is no water and to identify the lots where the City can dig for a deep well.

“Ayaw huna-hunaa ang problema na dili musugot ang tag-iya sa yuta kay maka-appropriate man ta. Tagai lang ko ninyo sa sketch ug asa kinahanglan ang deep well.

Priority nato ang tubig para mainom ug kaligo. We will make emergency purchases kay emergency gyud ni, let’s take advantage of the disaster declaration,” Osmeña told the barangay captains.

City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. said the City will only need a six-square-meter lot for the deep well, which would cost P100,000 to P200,000 to set up, depending on the depth.

“They just have to identify the site and the City will set it up wherever it is needed,” said Pe.


Babag Barangay Captain Rita Sabal said most of her constituents in the mountain village now have difficulty getting water, since the sources are drying up.

In areas where they can get water, she said that people save them for drinking, so water for bathing and washing their clothes is a problem.

“Naglisod na gyud ang mga tawo pagkuha ug tubig kay kuwang na gyud kaayo ang tubig didto. Ug naa man gani makuha na tubig, amo lang siguroon ang para inom, wala na gyud mahabilin para kaligo ug ilaba. Kinahanglan gyud kaayo namo ang tubig,” Sabal said in an interview.

Meanwhile, the mayor distributed five shovels each and two wheelbarrows to 31 mountain barangays, which the barangay captains said they will use to pave their dirt roads and to clean the rivers.

Taptap Barangay Captain Teresita Tabal said the supplies will be useful in covering the potholes on the dirt road that leads to a school in her village.

In Kalunasan, Bara-ngay Captain Eddie Mabano said they intend to use the wheelbarrows and shovels in cleaning the Guadalupe River and canals in his village. (LCR)