MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief on Thursday, May 25, urged local government officials to hasten the process of granting permits to water concessionaires to repair water leakages given the looming threat of El Niño.
“Kailangan pong maging reasonable tayo, tumatagas na yung tubig dyan ay ‘wag nang higpitan at i-allow na ang emergency repair. Kung may application po para sa repair or rehabilitation ay sana ma-facilitate natin,” MMDA acting chair Don Artes said.
(We need to be reasonable, the water is already leaking there, so let’s not be strict and allow emergency repairs. If there is an application for repair or rehabilitation, let’s facilitate it.)
According to Artes, there are instances when permit requests, even for emergencies, pend in barangays.
Securing permits takes around two months, according to Maynilad Water Services Incorporated chief operating officer Randolph Estrellado.
Visible leaks can be addressed immediately as acquiring a permit for these jobs is relatively swifter. However, leaks that are not visible aboveground take them a while to repair, Estrellado said in a House committee hearing on water supply in Metro Manila last May 17.
“At the moment, we have around 21 locations where our permits to repair leaks are still pending. That is the issue we are currently facing,” Estrellado said.
Because of leakages, around 1,105 million liters of water every day go down the drain, according to Maynilad, the concessionaire for the western zone of the capital.
Meanwhile, the east-zone concessionaire, Manila Water, which faces the same concern on securing permits, loses 220 million liters of water every day due to leakages. – Rappler.com
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