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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

SGMA pursues solutions to Metro Manila water problem
23 March 2019 12:46:21 PM

Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday said one of the solutions to augment the water supply in the many areas of Metro Manila is to reopen the pipes between the Maynilad and Manila Water areas.

In the meantime that there is still not enough water supply in some areas, Speaker Arroyo said the other solution is to have stationary tanks for the areas that do not have enough water supply.

“They are putting stationary tanks so that during the time there’s no water, the people will go there, so were going to look at that today. And then the other one they’re doing is they were able to get an exemption from the National Water Resource Board to open to dig wells, so I think we're going to look at two of those wells today,” Speaker Arroyo said during her visit to Brgy. Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Speaker Arroyo visited Brgy. Addition Hills Friday as it was one of the worst hit areas of the water shortage in the east side of Metro Manila.

Speaker Arroyo has said last March 6, the explanation of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is that the water levels went down critically and they have to start having water interruption for the water level to go up again in the dams.

“The shortage is in the Manila Water side and not in the Maynilad. One of the solutions is to reopen the pipes between the Maynilad area and Manila Water area,” Speaker Arroyo said.

She said one of the reasons cited for the water problem is that the Cardona Water Treatment Plant has not yet been finished.

For the longer term solution, Speaker Arroyo mentioned the China-funded project which is the Kaliwa Dam. She said the Cardona Plant is part of the solutions as it will entail using the Laguna Lake as drinking water.

"There are 50 pipes. So, there were two that need not be repaired. They opened one actually, they opened two that day, but they opened one in the presence of the congressmen in the committee and then they are repairing the other 48 so that there can be a lot of water flowing from Maynilad to Manila Water,” Speaker Arroyo said.

“So, there is something moving forward and I don’t want to get into those proposals like that. That’s among them. I read from the papers that the regulator wants to do that. That’s their business. We’d like to see if the water is coming back to the tap. So, we’d like to see that and I think we don’t need to have further hearings anymore. We just like to see on the ground that what they said will happen and will be happening,” she said.

With these developments Speaker Arroyo said she will ask the House of Representatives to terminate the congressional oversight hearing on the water crisis because the past hearings have been sufficient.

“I think that’s it. I’m going to ask the Congress to terminate already the hearings because they’ve already heard what they have to hear for the immediate term,” said Speaker Arroyo before she delivered her speech on Friday as Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 32nd Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) at the Manila Hotel.

After her FFCCCII speaking engagement, Speaker Arroyo witnessed the opening of stationary tanks in Brgy. Addition Hills in Mandaluyong and the opening of deep wells in Brgy. Blue Ridge in Quezon City.

Speaker Arroyo have been going around since water interruption hit many areas in Metro Manila. She recalled that Manila Water already presented its solutions to the problem, which includes the opening of the cross border water gate valve of Maynilad to give water to Manila Water and augment the latter’s water supply.

With the water situation in the East side of Metro Manila slowly going back to normal, Speaker Arroyo said good things happen when people work together instead of finding faults.

While in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City, one of the worst hit areas of the water shortage, Speaker Arroyo commended the MWSS, Manila Water, Maynilad Waters and local government officials in working together to solve the water problem in the area.

“Tingnan nyo Kung gaano kabilis kumilos ang ating mga opisyal. Sa oras na walang tubig sa faucet, magdadala sila ng stationary tanker para kayo ay pupunta doon pang wala kayong tubig sa faucet. E pagdating ko dito, hindi na kailangan ang stationary tanker, meron pala nilagay na temporary pipe para imbes na pumunta kayo sa tanker e dadalhin na lang sa inyong faucet. Kaya ganun kabilis, ang pinangako nilang stationary tanker ay natupad, mas madami kayong tubig sa inyong faucet. So tingnan nyo kung tayo ay nagtutulungan, government at private sector, naghahanap ng solusyon, kaysa naghahanap ng bintang, nagkakaroon ng solusyon agad ,” Speaker Arroyo said.

On Thursday, water has started to flow in Brgy. Addition Hills after more two weeks of no water although interruptions still happen. As of Friday, the MWSS and the Manila Water have installed faucets to distribute water in the area during the period of interruptions.

The MWSS also installed six 10,000-gallon tanker around Addition Hills to supply additional water. MWSS Administrator Rey Velasco pointed out that they have installed similar water tanks in 11 Barangays in the East Zone that are still experiencing water interruptions. | Eddie Galvez, News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau/ Office of the Speaker/ House of Representatives of the Philippines