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Iloilo City Government Involves Construction, Biz Sector In Water-Saving Measures

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Iloilo City Government Involves Construction, Biz Sector In Water-Saving Measures

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The city government here has engaged the business sector, including the construction industry, in its water conservation measures in anticipation of the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

In a press conference on Monday, city architect Regina Gregorio said they started their drought forum last week involving information dissemination with various contractors, especially that construction activities will increase come the dry season.

“There is an increase in construction activities that would require a higher demand for water and we have our laborers exposed to the blazing heat of the sun. It is vital for us to inform them and pick on their brains to have a joint initiative in so far as water management is concerned,” Gregorio said.

During the forum, they gathered that in preparation for the summer months, contractors do water impounding while managing the use of water at their sites.

The working hours will be adjusted — start early with longer noon breaks — to spare laborers from the intense heat, she added.

Velma Jane Lao, head of the Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion, said the business sector is committed to being proactive in helping the city government manage and mitigate the impacts of the weather phenomenon.

Lao had an online meeting with heads of different business organizations last week while the Metro Pacific Iloilo Water discussed the status of supply.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer Donna Magno said that based on the forecast of the state weather bureau, Iloilo will experience a dry spell by the end of February until March and drought by April and May.

Dry spell is when rainfall conditions are below normal for three consecutive months. There is drought when rainfall is below normal for five succeeding months.

“So far, we have not received concerns from the barangay like a lack of access to water. At the same time, our agricultural sector is not much affected. There are no indications that we can recommend for the state of calamity, but the biggest consideration is access to water,” she said.

Meanwhile, South Balibago Waterworks last week had a ceremonial opening of its hydrant for the water supply and distribution project in Barangay Bito-on in Jaro District.

At least 200 households in the said barangay are connected to the water distribution utility, which can supply at least 13,000 cubic meters in a day.

On Jan. 19, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed Executive Order No. 53 to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces.

The task force is in charge of a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize devastating effects. (PNA)