MANILA, Philippines — The government is partly to be blamed for the water shortage now affecting thousands of residents in Metro Manila and near areas, an official of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) regulatory office said Thursday.
MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said government has failed to build alternative water sources to address the demand of a growing population.
He noted that proposals to build alternative water sources such as the Kaliwa Dam and Liban Dam have been discussed for years the but the construction of the dams were derailed due to several oppositions and considerations.
“It’s our fault. MWSS. It’s the government’s fault,” Ty said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
“Because the Kaliwa, Liban dam has been proposed since the Marcos time and due to a lot of oppositions and accommodations for indigenous peoples, from informal settlers, from this leftist group, church group, these projects keep on getting moved,” he said.
Currently, Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., which provide water to Metro Manila and in neighboring areas, are getting their supply from the Angat Dam in Bulacan. However, Ty said the dam is the only source of water and other alternative sources are needed.
“They’re saying it’s our fault? Yes, it’s our fault. It’s everyone’s fault because we’ve been delaying all these projects,” Ty said.
“Right now, we can’t rely on Angat Dam. It’s just one source. We need an alternative water source and we need it yesterday,” he added.
Ty noted that experts have been saying the country needs a “new dam to address the water shortages because of the population growth. He said the shortages will “get worse before it gets better.”
“All the experts have been saying we need a new dam to address the water shortages, because of the population growth in both areas, in the Manila Water and Maynilad,” he said.
“We’re going to be expecting a problem in the near future, so this will get worse before it gets better,” Ty added.
While conceding that the water shortage is the government’s fault, Ty said that they are doing something to address it.
He added that the Duterte administration has sought to fast-track the building of the Kaliwa Dam that is expected to provide an additional supply of 60 million liters of water daily to Metro Manila.
“It’s the fault of the government because it is the responsibility of the government to source all these water source. I would just like to make it clear, we are actually doing something about it,” Ty said.
“This administration, specifically this administration of Duterte, is the one that is pushing for Kaliwa Dam so first time ever that we’ve already bid it out and awarded it already and it’s supposed to start anytime,” he added.
Manila Water, which supplies water in the east zone of Metro Manila has slashed supply in several areas in as the water level in La Mesa Dam continues to drop. /muf
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