DUE to sluggish acquisition of lots by 25 local government units, the Cebu Provincial Government has been moving slow on its bulk water supply projects that aim to provide potable water to residents.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia urged the mayors of these LGUs to hasten their lot acquisition “so that we can already bid them out.”
“We are in the business of seeing to it that people get what is the most basic and which Cebuanos all deserve: potable, safe water,” Garcia said during a meeting with mayors, government officials and private stakeholders at the Capitol building on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
Of the 25 LGUs, the towns of San Fernando, Argao, Barili, Boljoon, Oslob and Samboan had already shown progress in their lot acquisition and infrastructure planning, Capitol consultant Carl Duran said in his report.
The other 19 towns are still working on the lots where the treatment plant and other facilities will be located. These are Alcoy, Alegria, Badian, Dalaguete, Tuburan, Asturias, Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Tabogon, San Remigio,Tabuelan, Sogod, Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Malabuyoc, Moalboal, Ginatilan and Santander.
The Capitol has designated P3 billion from this year’s budget of P20.15 billion for the development of water systems, specifically bulk water supply projects in LGUs.
Its objective is to address the increasing demand for potable water.
As part of the program, LGUs will utilize available surface waters in their respective areas, treat them, and distribute them directly to households, Sugbo News, Capitol’s media arm, reported.
Governor Garcia said during the meeting that while private water suppliers may hide behind their corporate identity, the mayors and LGUs in charge of bulk water supply projects are answerable to the public.
In a Dec. 14, 2021 meeting with Liga ng mga Barangay-Cebu Province two days before Typhoon Odette pounded Cebu, the governor said P2 billion of the P18.3 billion 2022 budget passed by the Provincial Board will be allocated for bulk water supply projects.
The Province is responsible for constructing the bulk water infrastructure, comprising transmission and distribution lines for Level 3 connections to ensure that each household has a direct connection.
After completion, the Province would transfer ownership to the municipal government for management.
The town would purchase the bulk water from the Province per cubic meter and oversee the distribution and sale of water.
The governor revealed during that meeting that a bidding process had been conducted for bulk water projects in Argao, Barili and San Fernando towns. The total cost of these projects combined was estimated to be nearly P1 billion.
March 22, 2023
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