BORACAY Island Water Co., Inc. has given its assurance to complete the rehabilitation of the island’s main sewer network within four months, as the company offered its plan of upgrading and expanding the facilities as “a faster and more feasible” option.
The unit of publicly listed Manila Water Co., Inc. has allayed the fears of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu as the company presented its plan to upgrade and expand the sewer network along the island’s Balabag main road. It said the plan would accommodate higher flows coming from the beach front area.
“This is a faster and more feasible alternative to relocating the sewer network which may affect more establishments and require acquisition of rights-of-way that may take a longer time to complete beyond the closure period,” the company said in a statement.
The statement was jointly sent by representatives of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Manila Water and Boracay Water.
TIEZA has clarified that the government-built sewerage system discovered at the beachfront last weekend was built decades ago, with the necessary regulatory approvals.
Representatives from TIEZA and Boracay Water assured officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the sewer system is operating “and capacitized to prevent overflows to the beach waters.”
“The major cause of manhole overflows and water pollution in Boracay is the refusal of many establishments to connect to the proper sewerage system and illegally tapped to the drainage line,” TIEZA said.
Executive Order No. 53, which created the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, directs TIEZA to undertake the completion of the drainage system program, to work with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in putting up flood control infrastructure, and to ensure the completion of the expansion program of water and sewerage system in the three barangays of Boracay Island.
TIEZA said it had mobilized the construction of the temporary discharge pipeline to hasten the rehabilitation activities in Boracay ahead of the rainy season starting June.
“The temporary outfall will prevent flooding on various underground utilities and road construction projects while TIEZA and the DPWH augment their de-clogging activities in the drainage systems and sewerage facilities of Boracay… The outfall will have a discharge pipe extended up to 800 meters off the shore of Balabag beach,” it said. — Victor V. Saulon