Showing cooperation and confidence to development projects of city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the Iloilo city council had given their approval for the declaration of Iloilo City under a state of calamity due to acute water shortage.
With a vote of 11 for, 1 against and 2 abstention, the city council unanimously approved the request of Mabilog to declare under a state of calamity and to use the funds intended to mitigate the effects of acute water crisis. The one voted against was city councilor Jeffrey Ganzon while city councilors David jamora and Edward Yee opted for abstention.
SP majority floorleader Joshua Alim, city councilors Perla Zulueta and Plaridel Nava led the pro-administration city councilors during the city council regular session on Wednesday, December 5 in giving due cognizance of an acute water shortage problem that already become a crisis and calamity in city areas that have no access to safe and potable water from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) here.
Alim said the problem and its solution are long overdue and the funds for the mayor’s project to help solve the crisis may be taken from the 30 percent quick response fund of P60 million earmarked as 30 percent of the 5 percent city calamity fund.
Zulueta said she is possession of MIWD documents showing the shortage and MIWD’s deficiencies in providing water to city constituents. Of the total 180 barangays in this city, 58 villages are not served with water, 2 barangays are augmented with MIWD water deliveries and the rest are on scheduled deliveries.
Zulueta pointed out that Republic Act 12021 created the national and regional disaster risk reduction and management councils down to the barangay levels. The law provides that if one or two barangays are severely affected with natural or man-made calamities, the local government unit has the right to use the calamity fund with 70 percent for disaster preparedness and 30 percent for quick response.
The city has a contingency fund of P700,000 which can be used anytime without approval from the city council and another P2 million from the 30 percent quick response fund.
The lady councilor said resolutions of 33 affected barangays without water served by MIWD were filed last month to the office of the city mayor which also prompted Mabilog to seek the help of the city council in solving the water crisis.
Mabilog said the amount will be intended for the purchase of needed equipment or water delivery in the barangays which MIWD is not capable of delivery.
FloWater, the MIWD contractor failed to concrete its commitment of giving water to MIWD and its inauguration was postponed for four times. The latest promise was that FloWater will deliver water by early January 2013.
Alim said this water commitment of the contractor can not be relied upon anymore as the summer season sets to come in, thereby aggravating the water shortage situation.