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Water firms told: Reopen Metro Manila pipeline

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday said one of the solutions to augment the water supply in the many areas of Metro Manila would be to reopen the connection between the Maynilad and Manila Water areas.

In the meantime that there is still not enough water supply in some areas, Arroyo said the other solution was to have stationary tanks for the areas that were lacking in enough water supply.

“They are putting stationary tanks so that during the time there’s no water, the people will go there, so were going to look at that today. And then the other one they’re doing is they were able to get an exemption from the National Water Resource Board to open to dig wells, so I think we’re going to look at two of those wells today,” Arroyo said during her visit Friday to Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City.

Arroyo visited Barangay Addition Hills Friday as it was one of the worst hit areas of the water shortage in the east side of Metro Manila.

Arroyo said last March 6 the explanation of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) was that the water levels went down critically and they had to start having water interruption for the water level to go up again in the dams.

“The shortage is in the Manila Water side and not in the Maynilad. One of the solutions is to reopen the pipes between the Maynilad area and Manila Water area,” Arroyo said.

She said one of the reasons cited for the water problem was that the Cardona Water Treatment Plant had not yet been finished.

For the longer term solution, Arroyo mentioned the China-funded project: the Kaliwa Dam. She said the Cardona Plant was part of the solutions as it would entail using the Laguna Lake as drinking water.

“There are 50 pipes. So, there were two that need not be repaired. They opened one actually, they opened two that day, but they opened one in the presence of the congressmen in the committee and then they are repairing the other 48 so that there can be a lot of water flowing from Maynilad to Manila Water,” Arroyo said.

She added: “So, there is something moving forward and I don’t want to get into those proposals like that. That’s among them. I read from the papers that the regulator wants to do that. That’s their business. 

“We’d like to see if the water is coming back to the tap. So, we’d like to see that and I think we don’t need to have further hearings anymore. We just like to see on the ground that what they said will happen and will be happening.”

With these developments, Arroyo said she would ask the House of Representatives to terminate the congressional oversight hearing on the water crisis because the past hearings had been sufficient.

“I think that’s it. I’m going to ask the Congress to terminate already the hearings because they’ve already heard what they have to hear for the immediate term,” said Arroyo before she delivered her speech on Friday as Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 32nd Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. at the Manila Hotel.

After her FFCCCII speaking engagement, Arroyo witnessed the opening of stationary tanks in Barangay  Addition Hills in Mandaluyong and the opening of deep wells in Barangay Blue Ridge in Quezon City.

Arroyo has been going around since water interruption hit many areas in Metro Manila. 

She recalled that Manila Water already presented its solutions to the problem, which included the opening of the cross border water gate valve of Maynilad to give water to Manila Water and augment the latter’s water supply.

With the water situation in the east side of Metro Manila slowly going back to normal, Arroyo said good things would happen when people worked together instead of finding faults.

While in Barangay Addition Hills, Arroyo commended the MWSS, Manila Water, Maynilad Water and local government officials in working together to solve the water problem in the area.

On Thursday, water started to flow in Barangay Addition Hills after more two weeks of no water although interruptions still happened. 

As of Friday, the MWSS and the Manila Water had installed faucets to distribute water in the area during the period of interruptions.

The MWSS also installed six 10,000-gallon tanker around Addition Hills to supply additional water. MWSS Administrator Rey Velasco pointed out that they had installed similar water tanks in 11barangays in the East Zone that were still experiencing water interruptions.

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Topics: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo , Metro Manila Pipeline , National Water Resource Board , Maynilad , Manila Water , Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
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