By Francis Allan L. Angelo and Joseph B.A. Marzan
Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) and Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) asked for more patience on the water supply situation as they are ensuring that supply from their bulk water supplier is safe for human use.
MPIW, the water utility distributor in Iloilo City and several towns in Iloilo province, said Wednesday that it would soon end its rotational water schedule after settling its issues with a bulk water provider which abruptly cut the water supply earlier this week.
In a Facebook post, the MPIW said that the water supply operation would return to normal after FLO Water Resources, Inc.’s treatment plant passes the mandatory water quality test.
“Water Supply Operation will still be back to normal after a water bacteriology test is completed and water from FLO Water’s Treatment Plant has passed the safe water quality test as required by the Philippine National Standard Drinking Water Law (PNSTDW),” the MPIW said in its post.
“While waiting for the result, MPIW will conduct back flushing and disinfection to ensure that pipelines connected to FLO Water’s Treatment Plant are clean,” they added.
This means that the rotational water supply schedule will still be operational today, June 16, until MPIW and FLO Water confirm that the water supply had passed testing.
MIWD OIC-manager Amarylis Josephine Castro said they have yet to stabilize water supply in areas affected by the abrupt decision of FLO Water to cut its supply due to some health and safety protocols that they must follow.
MPIW is the joint venture company formed by MIWD and Metro Pacific Water (MPW), which is the water infrastructure investment unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).
MPW owns 80 percent of MPIW while MIWD holds the remaining 20 percent.
MPIW covers the operation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the water distribution and wastewater management facilities of MIWD.
To recall, FLO Water of businessman Rogelio Florete Sr. stopped supplying to MPIW on Monday due to financial differences over their 6-month interim supply contract.
But the issue was resolved after FLO Water agreed with the memorandum of understanding with water tariff pegged at P21 per cubic meter (cu.m.) although the signing did not materialize.
Castro said while FLO Water has agreed to resume its supply, MPIW must first conduct flushing of the pipelines and water quality testing to ensure the health and safety of the public.
“It’s part of our protocols when supply is stopped. We must conduct flushing to clean the pipelines and test the supply from FLO Water. The test will determine the cleanliness of the water, especially in the presence of microorganisms and its turbidity or presence of sediments,” she added.
Since it would take time to test the samples and release the results, Castro said she called up Mr. Florete to ask for more supply in advance to shorten the consumers’ waiting time.
The additional supply is meant as a backup if the first samples fail the tests. By having available water samples on hand, the testing process will be shortened and so is the waiting time for MPIW and the consumers.
“But he (Florete) refused to give additional supply for sampling from his treatment plant and I don’t know why. MPIW is even willing to pay for the additional supply to hasten the testing and the resumption of supply from FLO Water,” Castro said.
Castro said they will wait for the results of the first batch of samples and they are hoping that it will pass so they can receive FLO Water’s supply and distribute it to consumers.
MPIW also said that it has settled the P21 per cubic meter rate previously agreed upon with FLO Water.
“To help our customers and prevent further inconvenience, MPIW has meantime settled the Php21.00 pesos cubic meter water tariff and FLO Water immediately resumed the supply of water to MPIW late in the afternoon,” they stated.
The agreement was initially revealed by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Tuesday via text message.
FLO Water on Monday suddenly informed MPIW via verbal notice that it would stop its water supply, despite a compromise agreement reached between the two parties back in May after a long-term deal had already expired.
The MPIW mentioned that FLO Water had not signed the Memorandum of Understanding between them, which was part of the legal process to continue water supply.
Since the contract expiry in May and in subsequent weeks, FLO Water has not issued any statement on its actions.