Iloilo City under state of calamity due to El Niño

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The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) during a special session o. n Friday declared the city under the state of calamity due to El Niño

Eight councilors unanimously approved the resolution which noted that at least 20 percent of the city’s population was affected; there was widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestock and other agricultural products; and there was disruption of lifeline such as potable water.

These met three of the five conditions for declaring a state of calamity as stipulated in Memorandum Circular No. 86, series of 2018 by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

“Our potable water system is considered a lifeline. The moment you have to stop that normal activity because you have to wake up in the middle of the night to line up at the public faucet just to get water, then for me it’s a disruption of normal activity,” said Donna Magno, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer.

A rapid assessment conducted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) showed that around 25 percent of the city’s 472, 491 total population is already affected or equivalent to 117, 265 population.

Four barangays namely, Bo. Obrero and Mansya in Lapuz; and San Juan and Cochero Molo have requested assistance for water supply from the city government.

Bsed on the outlook of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Iloilo City will already be included in the drought meteorological condition by end of this month.

“From May, June and July the amount of rainfall will be way below
normal. There is a reduction in the volume of rainfall from 21 to 60
percent,” she explained.

Following the declaration, the city government can now utilize the 30
percent quick response (QRF) of its P115-million local disaster risk
reduction and management (LDRRM) funds equivalent to around P34.7

The city government and the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) will
have to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to tap fire hydrants to
supply the water needs chargeable to the city funds.

Water tankers of the Iloilo Citizens Action Group, Federation Iloilo
Fire Brigade Inc. and the Bureau of Fire Protection will also be used
to deliver water while the Philippine Red Cross-Iloilo will also lend
water bladders and serve at the forefront of the water distribution.

Based on the computation, taking into the account the cost of water at
P23 per cubic meter and the cost of gasoline for the water tanker, the
city has to spend P2.797 million for 30 days of water rationing;
P5.593 million for 60 days; and P8.390 million for 90 days.

Present during the special session were Councilors R Leone Gerochi who
also served as presiding officer, Majority Floor Leader Plaridel Nava
II, Joshua Alim, Candice Magdalane Tupas, Liezl Zulueta-Salazar,
Mandrei Malabor and Lyndon Acap.

Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon, Councilors Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Ely Estante, Jose Efrain Treñas III, Armand Parcon and Liga ng Mga Barangay President Irene Ong were on leave while Sangguniang Kabataan President Leila Luntao is on official travel. (PNA)