The Puerto Princesa City Water District’s (PPCWD) has placed 95 percent of its pumping stations operational after noting a decline in water production at Campo Uno Dam in Barangay Irawan.

Despite this and a noticeable decrease in water pressure in several areas in Puerto Princesa at the beginning of the year, water district general manager Antonio Jesus Romasanta said there is no cause for alarm because they already have contingency measures to deal with the problem.

What the public can do to help, Romasanta said, is to immediately report to the PPCWD in case low water pressure is observed in their areas.

“Based on our experience hindi natin masyadong pino-problema ito dahil nga almost every summer ay alam na natin ang gagawin natin. Napaaga siya ng kaunti pero may action plan na rin kami para ma-address itong problema na ito. So, there’s no need to be alarmed sa public. Ang importante lang we have to know immediately kung anong problema nila sa area nila,” said Romasanta during the “Kapihan with the Media” early Tuesday.

PPCWD senior corporate planning specialist Jeovanne Sacedon said that they observed the decrease in water production at Campo Uno on January 6, 2020.

On December 26, 2019, Sacedon said the flow rate in the Irawan dam was 658 cubic meters per hour with 180 centimeters water level and 24.5 pounds per square inch (PSI). However, on January 6, this downgraded to 446 cubic meters per hour flow rate with 166 centimeters water level and 8.5 PSI.


Situation of Irawan river as of January 4. Photo courtesy of PPCWD.

“Nakikita natin na pababa nang pababa, nasa 8.5 PSI na lang at bumabagsak na tayo — nasa 446 cubic meters per hour na. More or less, nasa 100 plus cubic meters per hour ang nawawala, ilang tubig ang nawala sa household natin which naramdaman din talaga ng ibang konsumidores,” he said.

The standard PSI, Sacedon said, is 25-30 PSI for good water pressure coming out of faucets.

Sacedon said that due to the noticeable decrease in water pressure, the PPCWD readily prepared contingency measures, which include the operation of around 95 percent of their 49 pumping stations, water injection, rehabilitation and activation of remaining on-standby pumping stations, conduct of valving operations in high-pressured areas, and installation of pressure gauges on pre-identified areas which are all on-going.

“Lagi naman kaming may counter plan na nagba-back up kami ng mga pumping stations so ‘yong kakulangan na ibinibigay ni Campo Uno is nandyan naman ‘yong mga pumping stations na naka-standby. ‘Yong iba naman ay nag-i-extend kami ng operations just to hook up with the difference in the pressure at saka ng production,” he said.

Atty. Winston Gonzales, chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) of the PPCWD, said that on a 24-hour daily basis, water supply is enough. However, during peak days and hours, the problem noticeable occurs.

Gonzales said one of the measures to address it is to put an additional reservoir, like the one in Barangay Kalipay that will be operational in at least two months’ time.

“Kung titingnan mo in a 24-hour basis, sapat ‘yong supply ng tubig pero between 8 in the morning up to tanghali, kapag Sabado ay talagang kakapusin dahil sabay-sabay tayong naglalaba. Iyon ang mga kailangan i-address ng mga contingency team natin kung papaano palakasin ang pressure during peak hours,” he said.

PPCWD is also preparing for the diversion of major pumping stations to transmission lines and will set a scheduled river channeling in the infiltration gallery upstream.

Complaints received by the city water district regarding low water pressure were from the villages of Sta. Lourdes, Sta. Monica, San Manuel, Tiniguiban, Maunlad, Abad Santos St. corner Valencia, Burgos, and Macasaet streets., Manalo Extension, Rizal Avenue Extension, Abueg Road, Lagan St., Diaz St., Mabini Recaido, Roxas St., Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Brgy. Masikap, Rizal Avenue, Brgy. Liwanag, and Brgy. Bagong Sikat

“Sa Bancao-Bancao, Barangay Bagong Sikat, nawala ‘yong problema na ‘yon noong dumating ang Abueg reservoir. Nagtataka kami ngayon bakit bumalik ang problema, tinitingnan sa engineering department na baka isolated lang o may kailangan lang i-adjust sa mga valves. ‘Yong iba ay bumaba lang ang pressure, ‘yong iba ay nagagamot na naman,” Sacedon said.

Sacedon said that PPCWD failed to hit the expected rainfall amount for the month of November and December.

He said they expected 100 millimeters amount of rainfall to pour by December, however, only 60 percent were attained.

He said that the water situation of the city would not be as worse as what happened in 2019 due to the absence of El Niño nor La Niña in 2020. As of now, the city is under dry condition.

“Ang Irawan ay maliit lang, kapag di makapag-ulan ng sobra-sobra o sa inaasahan for two to three months, talagang hindi niya kaya ibigay ‘yong inaasahan natin na supply for summer o dry months. Maaga pa, wala pang ulan, kaya maaga pa nawawalan ng supply,” he said.

Another factor he mentioned that caused the decrease in water pressure from peak hours of 5:00 to 9:00 in the morning is the increasing number of demands.

PPCWD stated that they have a corporate target every year to connect 2,100 households. Sacedon said they could not decline the number of applicants for additional services, as it is their mandate as a public utility service.

He added that the projected production of the Water Supply Improvement Project Phase II (WSIP II) in Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers would be enough to provide the demands of increasing members.