Osmeña tells mountain barangay residents to find their own water

03/04/2010 - CEBU, Philippines - Mayor Tomas Osmeña has insisted on not giving additional water to barangays that are suffering from problem on lack of water supply.
“Let me set the policy straight. Many of these areas have already a problem with water. But they insist in moving there and then they demand that the city should supply them with water. The answer is no,” the mayor stressed.
In a press conference, Osmeña said that in the first place, people should stay in a place where there is water.
“I never forced them to go there. Why did you go there in the first place? Kay nindot ang view? Okay, fine. Then you get your own water,” he added.
Osmeña explained that giving in to the demands of these residents, who chose to live in places with no water, will not solve the problem but will rather compound it.
“If we do that more of them will go there, then eventually all of them will go there and now we have to buy 10 trucks to supply them with water everyday. We don’t work that way, you’re abusing the government resources,” he said.
Unless the city identified these places as relocation sites, he added it is not the city’s obligation to supply them with the services they need.
“Unless it’s a relocation site of the city then it’s our obligation to give them bus services, but if they voluntarily moved into a place and there is no water there, they should not insist for us to provide them water,” Osmeña said.
The City Hall’s Department of Public Services delivers water supply to the mountain barangays with low and inconsistent water pressure that limits them from installing artesian wells as source of water.
DPS chief Engr. Dionisio Gualiza said that they have three operating trucks, two of which, can deliver about 14,000 liters of water while the other can deliver only 45 liters.
The schedule of delivery varies, but usually once a week, depending on call they receive from the barangays.
“Modepende ra gyud mi sa tawag from the barangays. Usually, mutawag ra sila para magpahibaw nga hapit na mahurot. Lisod man gud kung moadto mi unya naa pa diay, sayang ang pag-adto. So to maximize time and resources, moadto mi kung hapit na mahurot ilang supply,” Gualiza said.
Gualiza admitted that there are additional barangays requesting for water aside from those that they regularly serve. These additional barangays are Upper Busay, Malubog, Sibugay, Sudlon, Sirao, Taptap, Guba, Mabini and Pulang Bato among, others.
He said the onset of El Niño has somehow caused delays in the rationing of water as they now need to supply more barangays.
“Daghan gyud mi madawat na reklamo sa ubang lugar na dili lagi daw sila ma-deliver-an. Pero ato lang silang gipasabot na dili pirmi naa sa maayong kondisyon atong mga equipment so mag-antos lang usa ta,” Gualiza said.
During the meeting of the City Disaster Coordinating Council, in which DPS is one of the members, Gualiza said that he will bring up the request for more drums to be distributed to residents of mountain barangays.
“Of course, bukid man didto, kasagaran nila wala’y dako na sudlanan sa tubig so mag-request mi og appropriation for additional barrels,” Gualiza said, adding that his office would also request for additional hoses to reach houses located far from the highway.
“Kung ma-declare nato ni’ng mga lugara under state of calamity, matagaan gyud ta og pondo para makapalit ta aning atong mga needs. Pero sa karon, makaya pa man so there is no need yet to put us under state of calamity,” Gualiza (Freeman)

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