TO prevent a water service interruption on the day of the start of the Fiesta Señor 2024 and during the upcoming activities for the Sinulog Festival, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia asked Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. (CMWDI) to postpone its scheduled 12-hour service interruption set on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.
The scheduled water service interruption was needed for the repair of its pipeline that is leaking millions of liters of water daily.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Jan. 10, Elmer de Guzman, assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), told SunStar Cebu that the major water service interruption has been moved to a later date, possibly after the Sinulog 2024.
With this, there will be a steady water supply for its consumers in Metro Cebu during the Sinulog Festival.
He said another advisory will be issued regarding the scheduled major water service interruption.
The last scheduled major activities of the Sinulog are the Sinulog grand parade on Jan. 21 and the awarding of winners on Jan. 22.
A Jan. 10 report of the official media arm of the Cebu Provincial Government said officials of CMWDI met with Garcia on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Cebu Capitol Building to inform the governor that the water concessionaire was to conduct maintenance and repair of a leaking pipe discovered near the Tapon Bridge in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City.
Christian Batallones, general manager of Manila Water Philippine Ventures, told Garcia that CMWDI was losing around 2 to 3 million liters of water per day from the leaking pipe that started earlier.
CMWDI is a joint venture investment firm between the Cebu Provincial Government and Manila Water Philippine Ventures, supplying 35 million liters of water per day to MCWD consumers.
The water is extracted from the Luyang River in the town of Carmen and treated at the CMWDI facility in that town before running through a 34.8-kilometer pipeline stretching from Carmen, northern Cebu to Mandaue City.
Batallones said the damage on its pipe will be repaired through welding patches in the 700-millimeter transmission pipelines.
Garcia, however, said a 12-hour water service interruption would be a burden to the indirect consumers of CMWDI, especially the residential customers and business establishments.
SunStar Cebu earlier reported on Nov. 30, 2023, that closing the CMWDI water pipeline may result in low pressure or no water supply to all consumers of MCWD in the towns of Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, and the cities of Mandaue, Cebu, and Lapu-Lapu.
CMWDI was supplying 35 MLD of water to MCWD. However, on Dec. 1, 2023, their bulk water supply agreement ceased to exist and was replaced with an emergency water agreement due to differences, particularly in the agreed price cap on the water rate.
Furthermore, Garcia said patching and welding the holes and cracks that caused the water leakage in the CMWDI pipeline were time-consuming and also only a “stopgap” or temporary measure. Therefore, Garcia said the entire segment of the pipeline where there was leakage must be replaced with new prefabricated pipes.
This was also in consideration of the proposed long-term plan to increase the water service delivery of CMWDI from 35 MLD of water to 45 MLD to serve the demand of Cebu in the future.
Garcia told CMWDI to conduct an inventory of its pipes and identify solutions for expansion that will make the pipes withstand the additional pressure from the proposed increased water volume to be produced.