Iloilo City council calls on water distributors to waive minimum fee amid water shortage due to El Niño

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THE ILOILO Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council) passed a resolution last April 30 calling on the city’s two water distributors to waive the minimum rate amid the prevailing water shortage due to El Niño, especially for consumers who are unable to fully draw the minimum 10-cubic meter (cu.m) supply per month.

Councilor R. Leone N. Gerochi, proponent of the resolution, said consumers should not be compelled to pay for the minimum 10 cu.m fee if the supplier cannot provide this.

“There are unforeseen circumstances that are happening which can greatly affect the supply of water. You cannot utilize the 10 cu.m simply because there is no water flowing so the customers should not be compelled to pay the minimum rate,” Mr. Gerochi said.

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

For the first 10 cu.m, MIWD charges between P200 to P640 for residential and government customers based on the meter size, while SBRI has a rate of P357.50.

“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,” Mr. Gerochi said.

The councilor also said that the passage of the resolution is intended to encourage consumers to voice their concerns.

“We are encouraging the residents to air out their concerns so that they will not pay for the extra amount,” he said.

Mr. Gerochi acknowledged that the resolution could not readily compel the utilities to drop the minimum fee.

“This is the sentiment of the city council, it depends on them on how they will act on it,” he said. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo