ILOILO CITY Mayor Jose S. Espinosa III said he will continue to pursue solutions to the water shortage problem in the city, including granting of licenses to interested proponents, despite a reminder from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regarding the control and operation of public water utilities. “As long as the water supply is lacking, we will do measures. I am not meddling with them (water utility) unless it’s really a need and most especially if we have shortage in water supply,” he said. The mayor emphasized the need to continually develop services in the city as he lamented the lack of water supply for the portable toilets during the recently concluded Dinagyang Festival. “We are becoming a major tourist destination so we need to improve our city,” he said. The DILG recently issued a reminder to local government units who are “interfering with the operations of local water districts,” noting that such authority belongs to the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). On Dec. 11 last year, the city council, with support from the mayor, approved the franchise of Prime Water Infrastructure Corp., prompting the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) to file a case against the city government. Prime Water, one of the bulk water suppliers of MIWD, followed the move of South Balibago Resources Inc. (SBRI), which is now operating a water system in the city’s Jaro district. MIWD has also filed a case against SBRI and the local government. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo