Puerto Princesa City Water District main office. | File photo

The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) eyes to inaugurate its P700 million Water System Improvement Project Phase II (WSIP II) in Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers by August expecting its almost 100 percent completion.

Information officer Jenn Rausa of PPCWD said as of May 2021, the project is already 85 percent completed which is considered a significant progress on their part despite the quarantine restrictions.

“As of May pa ‘yong 85 na ‘yon (at) tuloy-tuloy naman ang trabaho natin ngayon. Hindi man mag-100 percent baka pwede na mag-inaugurate total matagal na rin naman natin nagagamit ‘yong project. Parang April last year pa. Pinaka-target naman na completion nyan ay November, pwede na mag-inaugurate by August pero hindi pa 100 percent but it’s possible,” Rausa explained.

“Ang natitira na lang siguro ngayon ay general facilities, ‘yong teruvian intake (structure) tapos na rin ‘yon. And then papunta doon sa Lapu-Lapu natin, mga treatment na gagamitin for infiltration facility ay marami na rin natapos,” she added.

In a previous story, the WSIP II is expected to be completed before the target date on November 26 as PPCWD aims to inaugurate the project on its 45th anniversary on August 5.

The project was conceptualized in 2014 in a bid to provide a stable, reliable, and sustainable supply of water for 30 years in the city. Construction started in 2019 after hurdling all several setbacks and the signing of an agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in August 2019.

PPCWD started to tap the Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers as additional water sources in 2020 as a solution to the annual water shortage experienced in the dry season.

Rausa stated that fortunately, Irawan River that supports the main water source in Campo Uno remained in stable condition as it helped Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers to respond to the demands of consumers.

But even with Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers providing a significant volume of water, Rausa mentioned that PPCWD could not depend on this alone due to the series of turbidity issues encountered.

“Sa Montible natin, malaki talaga ang nakukuha natin diyan kasi tuloy-tuloy naman ang operation niyan until now. Parang ngayon nga kahit umuulan ay hindi masyado nakararamdam ng turbidity issues natin kasi siguro talagang mas nag-improve na ‘yong mga ginagamit natin doon o natapos na project component doon sa site,” she said.

Rausa said that as of now, they have not yet received any reports of illegal logging activities within the project site of the WSIP II.

The water sources of WSIP II are within the premises of the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF), where a series of illegal logging activities within the areas covered by each sub-colony particularly in Barangay Montible, was reported recently.

“Usually ang mga naaalala ko na issues niyan ay nasa labas na, within BuCor pa rin pero malayo na sa ating source. Sa ngayon, hindi pa natin ramdam ‘yon pero in the long run, kung magpapatuloy ang ganong sistema ay talagang makakaapekto ‘yon kasi malaki ang sakop ng watershed area natin, 3,000-hectare ang sakop nyan,” she said.

She also stressed that even a single tributary of the interconnected rivers within the shed will be affected and might cause a huge impact on the overall water source of the city.

PPCWD general manager Walter Laurel previously stated that the city water district is working on conducting surveys to declare the water source for WSIP II as a protected area with the help of USAID and other government agencies.

Meanwhile, as per the latest update provided by Rausa, PPCWD is having a continuous formulation of an integrated watershed management plan.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.