Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron (Photo: www.politics.com.ph)
City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron assured he will no longer raise any objection on the proposed water supply project of the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) that is now pending for approval of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Bayron further clarified that the city government is trying to get access to “water rights” and not to block the project of the PPCWD. He said what he wants is to reduce water rates as it is his mandate being the city’s chief executive.
“Gusto natin maibaba ang water rates. Palagay ko mandato ko ‘yun. Kaya ako nandito para gawin ang mga bagay na makakabuti sa mga mamamayan (What we want is to bring down water rates. I think that is part of my mandate. The reason why I am here is to do what is best for the people),” Bayron said.
Bayron has appointed two of his top choices to join the PPCWD Board of Directors, namely Atty. Raymund Acosta and Mylene Ballares. He apparently wants to see how the bidding of the project will be done.
He does not believe the claim of the water district that the rate will drop once the project in Montible and Lapu-lapu rivers push through.
“Hindi ako maniniwala doon (I don’t believe that),” he quipped.
PPCWD Finance Department Manager Walter Laurel explained their water rate will be set at P6.84 per cubic meter compared to the city government’s P15 per cubic meter if they will accommodate it as supplier of bulk water.
The water supply project of PPCWD is now pending for approval of the PCSD. It was already scheduled for deliberation in the council’s last meeting but to no avail due to lack of quorum.
PCSDS Executive Director Nelson Devanadera said the project was favorably endorsed by their technical staff for approval after complying the necessary requirements.
Though the project is likely to be approved by the PCSD, which will pave way for the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), it will still await the approval of the “agreed” memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Justice (DOJ), said PPCWD General Manager Antonio Romasanta .
Since the project will be located inside the territory of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF), approval of the DOJ is vital in securing “water rights” over the area.