Iloilo City Council Moves to Declare State of Calamity Due to Water Scarcity

ILOILO CITY — The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) has passed a resolution recommending the declaration of a state of calamity in Iloilo City due to severe water shortages affecting tens of thousands of residents.

According to Philippines News Agency, head of the General Services Office, the decision was based on comprehensive data from the ground reports and validations by three different offices. The data indicated that approximately 23,200 people, or over 25% of the population in 25 barangays, are critically affected by water scarcity, surpassing the 15% threshold required for such a declaration. Ravena highlighted the potential for the situation to worsen, noting that adjacent barangays might also experience significant impacts, with affected totals possibly reaching 30 to 40%.

Alongside the calamity declaration, the council has requested PHP12 million to fund the purchase of static tanks to facilitate water distribution across the city. Plans are in place to supplement existing supplies with an additional 52 water tanks to manage the crisis, which includes complications such as dried-up wells and seawater intrusion. Ravena mentioned specific concerns about seepage in the Rizal Pala-Pala area, which is under close monitoring to prevent water contamination and related health issues.

Following the LDRRMC meeting, Ravena consulted with major water suppliers, Metro Pacific Iloilo Water and South Balibago Waterworks, to strategize on emergency water rationing plans. He stressed the importance of ensuring that the emergency water delivery would be in addition to the regular supply to the affected barangays. The resolution and funding proposal will next be forwarded to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for further action. This move comes shortly after Iloilo City was declared in a state of calamity on March 26 due to a pertussis outbreak, adding to the city's urgent challenges.