Delegates struggle with water supply, broken facility in billeting quarters

Delegates struggle with water supply, broken facility in billeting quarters
Zhan Francisco Ramirez

SOME Palarong Pambansa delegations face difficulties after the water supply in their billeting areas is limited while comfort rooms are reportedly clogged or broken.

Eduarda Zapanta, assistant deputy head of delegation for management of Region 4-A or Calabarzon, confirmed to SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, that they are experiencing an incapacity of water supply, while some comfort rooms (CR) are clogged or broken.

“Basically, the CR is a challenge, and then the water,” Zapanta said.

Calabarzon has over 900 delegates who are staying at Tejero Elementary and National High School.

“That is really an extra effort on their end, and secondarily, that may affect their preparation for participating in the game, so physically and kung baga cleanliness-wise, they are struggling for the water and they are running for the comfort available,” Zapanta explained.

“That will somehow be a factor in preparation for Palaro,” Zapanta added.

The regional delegates arrived at the billeting areas in batches on June 26, with the design team as the first batch, while the whole delegation arrived in the first week of July.

According to the transport committee of Calabarzon, they noticed that when most of their team arrived on the first week of July, around 10 deliveries of water had been filling the tank of the school.

This has been addressed urgently, and their main concern for now is some of the CRs cannot fully function anymore, especially in their designated building.

“Kaso yung problema po namin bukod po dun sa tubig ay yung CR, parang mga puno na sila (The problem we have besides the water is the CR, the septic tank seems to be full),” said a transportation committee member, who asked not to be named.

Addressing the concerns

To address these concerns, water delivery and suctioning have been done, said Tejero Elementary School Principal Phamela Oliva.

Oliva said the water supply from Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has not been enough to supply the delegation, but five nearby barangays have been helping them to supply water to fill their 7,000-liter tanks.

They also have 40 portalets and 30 portabaths in their school for the delegation.

However, when SunStar Cebu asked MCWD spokesperson Minerva Gerodias, she said they had not received any reports of a lack of water supplies from billeting quarters.

Limitation

For Region 11, or Davao Region, which has 780 delegates, it already anticipated the situation in Palaro since in the past years, it has been public schools that served as billeting quarters.

“Kung unsay naa, mao ray ato. Dili mangayo og ala-hotel nga akomodasyon, naa man gyud nay limitasyon (Whatever is available, that’s all we have. We won’t ask for hotel-like accommodation, as there limitations),” said Davao Region spokesperson Jenielito Atillo.

He also observed that the billeting host, quarter, and the local government unit (LGU) have worked together to address the limitations like water supply.

Atillo added that every three hours, there is a delivery of water in their billeting quarters.

For Labangon Elementary School, the school has been preparing since Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association as the school has been selected to billet the participants. The school had already anticipated the limitations, especially the water supply. The barangay has been helping the school in getting its water supply.

Minor challenges

Mabolo National High School, which is currently accommodating 660 delegates from Region III (Central Luzon), has a stable water supply but it is faced with minor difficulties.

The school’s usual water supply from MCWD falls short during peak usage periods, said Mabolo safety officer-in-charge Chrisren Flores.

The water pressure coming from the faucets is also too weak to cater to simultaneous needs across billeting quarters, he said.

The school relies on the water sources provided by Barangay Mabolo and the City Disaster Risk Reduction, refilling the school’s tanks up to 10 times daily.

Eight water tanks that can hold between 2,000 to 2,500 liters of water are strategically positioned throughout the school’s premises.

However, since Mabolo has two billeting quarters (Mabolo National High School and Mabolo Elementary School), there can be a delay in the delivery of the water supply.

On Tuesday, July 6, the vehicle transporting water from Barangay Mabolo encountered a delay due to a flat tire.

For Zapatera Elementary School, which is housing 585 delegates from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, its situation with its water supply seems to be stable with minor challenges.

School principal Ma. Elgie Rama Englis said that the school has enough supply for the delegates to use.

The school itself gets its basic supply of water from the MCWD and a deep well, said Englis.

Barangays Zapatera and Lorega San Miguel also provided the school with an additional supply of water through water tankers.

Ten bathrooms and portalets are located in the school. / with reports from Kirby Clint Antoni and Dana Gracielle Quirante, UP Tacloban interns

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