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LOW-COST WATER FOR MCWD SOON

THE Danao City Bulk Water will soon supply water to Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) at P20 per cubic meter despite the attempts by some politicians to block it.

At present, Danao City Water System owned by the Danao City Local Government Unit (LGU) is selling water to its constituents at P5 per cubic meter for the first 10 cubic meters, the cheapest water rate in the country.

The same water rate was started during the mayorship of the undisputed political kingpin, Ramon “Amon” Durano Sr. who died in October 1988 while he was the incumbent chief executive.

Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III told Cebu Business Week that the LGU of Liloan, Cebu refused to let them pass through the municipality towards the MCWD injection point in that area.

Liloan leaders, Mayor Cristina Garcia-Frasco and her husband, Rep. Duke Frasco are daughter and son-inlaw of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. They are the political opponents of the Duranos.

Ramon Durano, on the other hand, is the father of Ramonito. Popularly known as ‘Amon,’ Ramon had been a congressman of Cebu’s 5th District for seven terms and placed several persons in high government during the time of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Since Amon’s mayorship, the water rate was P5 per cubic meter until at present.

With the refusal of Liloan to let Danao water pass, the MCWD Board and Management and Danao City Government have decided to deliver the bulk water at its injection pump in Compostela, Cebu.

Durano said that in the meantime, they are prioritizing the water distribution in Danao City so the constituents will benefit their water first before selling the excess to MCWD.

He explained that the bulk supply is surface water that comes from Tahong River. Hence, it needs a treatment plant in Barangay Guinacot. The city’s water treatment plant is now functioning.

Durano said their water production is 10,000 cubic meters per day. They allocated 3,000 to 5,000 cubic meters per day to Danao City consumers and the excess will be supplied to MCWD.

He said the timetable to start supplying bulk water to MCWD is within the first quarter of 2021. They have already laid down the appropriate water pipes up to MCWD’s Compostela injection pump.

At first, the contract between MCWD and Danao City LGU is for the latter to supply bulk water at 10,000 cubic meters per day. However, this was revised because Durano do not want a repeat of what happened in Carmen, Cebu.

The bulk water in Luyang River in Carmen town was supplied to MCWD at 20,000 cubic meters a day. This left the people in the municipality lacking with water.

That is the reason why the Carmen Municipal Council refused to pass a resolution to supply bulk water to MCWD through a joint venture with Cebu Provincial Government and Maynilad Water and Manila Water. The Carmen mayor vetoed the opposition of the Carmen Municipal Council but was overridden by the Sanggunian.

He said that out of ten municipal councilors, the opposing councilors were seven which was composed of two-thirds of the sangunian, hence, they can override the mayor’s veto.

In public hearings, the people expressed opposition to using the bulk water of Luyang to supply to MCWD. The Cebu Province, Maynilad and Manila Water did not pay for it to the Municipality of Carmen.

“So, I decided to supply first the water needs of the people of Danao City before selling the excess water to MCWD,” Durano said.

At first, Durano planned to privatize Danao City Water System but he realized that the private investor would increase the water rate as he will improve and rehabilitate the water distribution lines.

Durano said they will construct another dam above the river to increase the water supply of another 10,000 cubic meters per day. Tahong is the biggest river in Danao City.

Water in Barangays Poblacion, Sabang and Maslog is now supplied by bulk water of Danao City Water System.

By: ELIAS O. BAQUERO