MANILA — Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Wednesday urged business establishments, offices and households to strictly practice water conservation measures amid water service interruptions and depleted water supply in Metro Manila.
“We should use water wisely, especially now that we are experiencing the effects of El Niño, lalo na sa mga tahanan natin dahil diyan nagsisimula ‘yung practice ng water conservation (especially in our homes where the practice of water conservation starts),” Belmonte said in an interview.
She was referring to the El Niño weather phenomenon or the prolonged dry spell that has caused water at the La Mesa Dam to drop to a critical level and has led to water service interruptions in Metro Manila and some parts of Rizal province.
“Also, establishments should not forget to check their water system for leakage. I urge citizens to also report any broken faucet or pipe leak that they see in offices, schools, restaurants and establishments to their respective owners or managers so that it would be fixed immediately,” she added.
Belmonte noted that the service interruptions will continue to affect some parts of Quezon City while some barangays are already experiencing low water pressure.
“It is very unfortunate here in QC (that we have a water supply problem), especially since there are fire incidents suddenly happening. In Barangay Baesa for one, the fire marshals really had trouble putting out a fire. Because of those incidents, we could not help but just ask for the public’s cooperation as the local government is also doing its part to address the water shortage,” she said.
The fire in Barangay Baesa razed more than 300 houses on the same day there was a water service interruption.
“I am also calling for restaurants to observe our Anti-Water Wastage ordinance. It mandates them to serve water only upon the request of their customers. Dahil minsan, may customers talaga na bibigyan ng tubig, tapos ayaw naman pala nila at nasasayang lang (Because sometimes, customers are given water to drink but they actually do not want it. It’s just wasted),” she added.
Ordinance 2437, or the “Anti-Water Wastage Ordinance”, was crafted in 2015 in accordance with the city’s aim to conserve water due to a decline in water levels in Angat Dam.
The ordinance mandates a fine, ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP5,000, to be imposed on restaurants, hotels, inns, canteens, and eateries that would violate its provisions.
“All we are asking is for us to cooperate and work on this. Maliit na sakripisyo sa pagtitipid pero para sa kapakanan ng mas nakararami. Gawin natin ito kahit paunti-unti hanggang sa masanay na talaga tayo na magtipid sa paggamit ng tubig (This is a small sacrifice to make for the sake of the majority. Let’s do this step by step until we get used to practicing water conservation),” Belmonte said. Perfecto Raymundo\PNA-northboundasia.com