With several ongoing water projects in multiple barangays in Puerto Princesa, the water utility services office aims to serve 75 percent of the city’s population by the end of the year.

The water system projects of the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) are underway in the barangays of Bacungan and Mangingisda, while water line connections are being established in Maruyugon.

During a press conference on August 18, the PPCWD provided an update on their current progress. As of July 2023, their office has provided services to 52,308 active service connections, with a water production capacity of up to 3.1 million cubic meters per month.

PPCWD’s general manager, Walter Laurel, is optimistic that the city will soon have a unified water system encompassing both the northern and southern barangays.

“In Maruyugon, we’re starting to accept applications na kasi tapos na drilling doon. However, yung drilling kasi is not a long term solution. We’re trying to tap surface water doon sa barangay,” added Laurel.

“They are sharing the same water sources from Bacungan up to Langogan. We’re trying to achieve it in the next six years that they would have a unified water system,” he added.

The water district’s top priority infrastructure and improvement projects consist of several components: a transmission line from Irawan to Wescom Road, with a cost of P345.8 million; construction of reservoirs in Brgy. Bacungan and Brgy. Mangingisda, each amounting to P25 million; and enhancements to the Sta. Lucia treatment facility, totaling P5 million.

To address the substantial budget requirements, the PPCWD has collaborated with private companies to establish the lines in Brgy. Bacungan.

In the Nagtabon area in the west coast, he said there is an ongoing dialogue with the private proprietor of a resort who has expressed the intention to cover the expenses for the pipes. This initiative is aimed at establishing the necessary pipelines.

Furthermore, the completion of these projects is slated for the initial half of the upcoming year. This timeline is driven by the emergence of three resorts in the Nagtabon area, resulting in an increased influx of tourists with heightened water demands.

Laurel emphasized the need for the water district to be responsive to this demand.

Despite the existing 1,800 connections in Brgy. Mangingisda, the PPCWD intends to incorporate additional households into their system.

“From Luzviminda to Mangingisda, yung existing water system nila. We’re planning to purchase yung isang corporation na nag-o-operate dun, once matapos yun at maayos ang documents for the purchase, we can expect na [directly] ma-ooperate natin yung water system sa Mangingisda,” added Laurel.

Future reservoirs are also part of the plan, intended to cater to the needs of the barangays of Inagawan, Inagawan-sub, and Kamuning, with an estimated cost of P30 million. A similar initiative will be carried out in Tanabag and Concepcion, involving an expenditure of approximately P20 million. Meanwhile, the connections in Maoyon and Manalo are projected to require a budget of around P100 million.

The goal of expanding services to the barangays of Maoyon, Manalo, Tanabag, and Concepcion is acknowledged by Laurel. Although there is currently no budget, he expressed the commitment to seek funding in the future due to the increasing population in these areas.

Additionally, he highlighted the engineering team’s identification of water sources. Their plan involves connecting the northern barangays through surface water utilization.

The temporary underground water source is also present in the barangays of Inagawan, Inagawan-sub, and Kamuning.

“May drilling pansamantala hanggang di pa madevelop ang ating [surface water] source doon sa unahan ng pader sa Inagawan. Unahin natin yung southern tagalog barangay para magkaroon ng supply,” said Laurel.

Currently, the surface water source being utilized by the barangays of Sta. Lucia, Luzviminda, and Mangingisda is the Malinao River, situated within the Sta. Lucia subcolony. Laurel pointed out that there is an existing facility in that area, operating solely on solar power during darker periods and switching to a generator when necessary.

To promote the conservation of underground water, Laurel mentioned that the PPCWD is also in the process of planning the construction of an artificial lake in Brgy. Sta. Lucia.

The artificial lake will be situated within the Sta. Lucia Industrial Estate, encompassing an area of 132 hectares for the project. He said it will serve a dual purpose by functioning as an eco-tourism site.

“Long term solution yung ating man-made lake. Nasa study phase pa rin tayo, may naidentify na tayo na source na pupuno sa kanya. This can store up to 5 million cubit meter of water sa apat na buwan in case na walang ulan sa apat na buwan kayang mag-provide ng ating man-made lake,” he said.

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