Permit delays halt water projects in Cebu City

Cebu City map.
Cebu City map.

THE lack of excavation permits prevents the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) from completing pipe-laying projects that will connect at least 10 mountain barangays in Cebu City to a water source.

This was the MCWD’s answer to the questions of some Cebu City councilors who asked about the absence of water supply in the mountain barangays.

During the City Council’s special session on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Councilor Nestor Archival, who received the letter, informed his fellow lawmakers that there are four pipe-laying projects in the upland barangays that could have helped in supplying water to at least 10 mountain barangays.

In its letter, the MCWD said it had already submitted to the City Hall applications and requirements for excavation permit for the followingprojects: pipeline expansion project for Cambinocot (submitted on May 11, 2023); pipeline expansion project for Lusaran drop-off (submitted on July 3, 2023); pipeline expansion project for Guba (submitted on Nov. 11, 2023); and pipeline expansion project for Pulangbato (no date of submission stated).

Archival said that in one of the council sessions last year, JE Hydro, one of MCWD’s contractors, said it was capable of supplying 15 to 20 million liters per day from the Lusaran Bulk Water Project to several mountain barangays.

However, the lack of permits from Cebu City Hall prevents this, according to Archival.

Archival said the MCWD also sent a letter of request addressed to City Administrator Collin Rosell through Councilor Jerry Guardo, requesting for approval of their excavation permit application, on Feb. 5.

There has been no response to this request.

Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos requested someone from the executive department to answer the question on the status of excavation permit applications.

As seen in the Facebook live stream of the Cebu City Council’s secretariat, no one from the executive department came forward.

The Council conducted the special session following the request of the executive department of a budget of P96 million for El Niño measures.

Archival previously questioned this request, emphasizing that the public, specifically farmers in the mountain barangays, need water, not additional seedlings as indicated in the proposed budget.

The Council earlier placed 28 upland barangays in the city under state of calamity due to the El Niño weather phenomenon. / JJL


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