Water firms asked to stop minimum rates in el-niño

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

AMIDST the continuing dry spell and water crisis brought about by El Niño, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Iloilo City on Tuesday passed a resolution calling on water utilities to avoid charging the minimum rate, especially if the consumers cannot fully draw the minimum 10-cubic meter (cu. m.) supply per month.

Councilor R Leone Gerochi, the proponent of the resolution, emphasized that consumers should not be compelled to pay for the minimum 10 cu. m. of water if the supplier cannot provide the same amid the ongoing water crisis.

“There are unforeseen circumstances nga nagakatabo which can greatly affect ang supply sang tubig

Instead maubos mo ang 10 cubic meter, indi mo na maubos simply because there is no water flowing so the customers should not be compelled to pay the minimum rate,” he stressed.

In his resolution, Gerochi said consumers are compelled to pay for the minimum 10 cu. m. whether or not they receive or utilize the supply.

“Climate change has brought extreme dry season in the City of Iloilo wherein the supply and distribution of water has been affected negatively. Many areas in Iloilo City which used to enjoy some slightly adequate water supply have suddenly been experiencing no water flow presumably due to extreme dry season of summer,” he lamented.

Aside from the dry season, Gerochi said consumers are unable to fully utilize the minimum of 10 cu. m. since water only flows out during unholy hour and sometimes it requires pumping.

“Bisan may tubig kinahanglan mo pa pulawan, because the water only flows during late night or early hours in the morning kag kis-a kinanglan mo pa motoranKung amo ni ang circumstances, indi mo maubos ang 10 cubic meters mo nga minimum charge,” he said.

With the passage of the resolution, Gerochi hopes that it would encourage to customers to air out their concerns and voice their objection particularly on the charging of the minimum rate.

“Gina-encourage ta ang aton pumuluyo nga mag-air out sang ila concerns para indi sila magbayad sa sobra sang ila ginabayran,” he said.

Gerochi said it depends on the public utilities on how they will act on the matter.  

“Amo ni ang sentimento sang City Council, depende na sa ila kung ano ila action,” he said.

Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) and South Balibago Resources, Inc (SBRI) are the main water providers in Iloilo City.