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PIA Press Release

Water service in Maasin gets boost from city gov't

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (June 28) -- In the near future, prospects for this city's efficient water service delivered through Maasin Water District (MWD) are bright despite the current state on utter scarcity of supply.

This developed as City Mayor Maloney Samaco revealed two interesting developments lately that point to the direction of harnessing yet untapped water sources within city limits -- at least two sources -- for an unlimited supply potential to urban dwellers, both for domestic and commericial uses.

In a press conference with the local media this morning at his office immediately after he had taken his oath of office at the city gym, Samaco disclosed that last week, in a talk with MWD Manager Nestor Geraldo, he learned that the water firm had been eyeing a new source somewhere in the upper portion of barangay Bantig, but specifics on this site were still to be fully appraised.

Geraldo assured him that once tapped, the Bantig source will be a great help in augmenting the water supply, inasmuch as the planned tapping of a source in barangay Matin-ao was found out not feasible, Samaco said quoting the MWD Manager as telling him.

In a related twist of a positive note, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has expressed its willingness to solve the city's looming water shortage in its plan to tap the abundant water source in barangay Cagnituan for irrigation to connect a line to barangay Hanginan.

As the Cagnituan-to-Hanginan irrigation project will be realized, MWD can use the excess water to serve its increasing number of concessionaires, Samaco revealed, adding that the Cagnituan source has been proven not to dry up even at the peak of drought.

Water users in the city have long noticed the limited water supply since the onset of the dry season, or the El Nino phenomenon, in February this year and until this time with the rainy days of June, the La Nina, the tap water flowing only from late night up to about seven in the morning.

MWD's traditional sources at barangay San Jose and Batuan would usually reduce in volume according to the seasons, and plans for tapping other sources had been hampered with prohibitive costs.

But in the matter of footing the bill, Samaco stressed that the city government would support the MWD in its quest, and would even go to the extent of guarantying a loan from banks if the financial assistance from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), the agency handling water districts nationwide, would not suffice.

Asked how much would be the expense in generating water from Cagnituan, Samaco said it would be around more than P 80 Million as of the moment, since this estimate was made a few years back.

Told that aside from monetary issues, any other barrier may block the tapping of Cagnituan's water, just like what happened to the proposed MWD plan of using the excess water in barangay Ibarra, Mayor Samaco assured the Ibarra experience will not happen again as the local officials of Cagnituan are very much willing to share their abundant water to the rest of the city. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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