NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The Sangguniang Bayan in Balilihan chaired by Vice-Mayor Adonis Roy Olalo has conducted a public hearing last week thru water committee chaired by Kagawad Lorenzo Baliong, Jr. to get the pulse of the people regarding the water deal between the town and the Bohol Water Utilities, Inc. (BWUI).
The public hearing mainly tackled the already approved Resolution No. 139-2020, “authorizing the Local Chief Executive of Balilihan, the honorable Maria Pureza V. Chatto, to sign for and in behalf of the municipality of Balilihan, Bohol, a Memoramdum of Understanding with BWUI, represented by its president Mr. Dennis Villareal, for the extraction and development of water supply based on final draft of the agreement deemed beneficial to the people of Balilihan and nearby local government units in the province of Bohol.”
Mayor Chatto in a talk with mediamen at her office said that public hearing on this particular concern may not necessary beheld.
Those who signedin favor of the said Resolution, a copy of which is obtained by BNT, are councilors Edgar Asilo Jose Bernard Lansang, Titol T. Libatona, Jill Flix Reyes, Baliong (sponsor of the measure), Abel Eligio Llorente, Liga ng mga Barangay president Nicolas J. Ale and Sangguniang Kabataan head Archie Casanova.
Kagawads Esteban L. Chatto and Ursulita C. Reyes signed it in the negative.
Vice-Mayor Olalo signed the said Resolution’s voting sheet but emphasized “I dissent.”
SB Secretary Julita I. Lim certified the said Resolution.
Among the salient features of the MOU is BWUIs obligations to the town.
BWUI is expected “to extract, process, treat, deliver and distribute potable water of 3,000 cubic meters per day up to 20,000 cu.m. per day” from the punping stations it would soon establish in barangays Del Carmen Sur, Magsija and Maslog on written approcal with the municipality and with existing water permit from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).
The company shall pay the extraction fee of P0.80 per cu.m. for the water it extracted “with corresponding increase of 5% of the extraction fee every five years or the extraction fee shall be adjusted proportionately whenever BWUI is allowed to increase the water tariff to its customers by the NWRB, whichever is higher.”
Under the same MOU, BWUI is also required to pay P25,000 per pumping station annually for environmental fund for protection of watershed areas “with corresponding increase of 5% of the environmental fund every five years or at the prescribed rate of increase allowed by NWRB, whichever is higher.”
“BWUI shall pay one time assistance fund to the municipality as contribution of BWUI for various projects of the municipality in the totalamount of P250,000.00 upon execution of this Memorandum of Agreement.”
BWUI’s Technical assistance, including design and inspection of the distribution and transmission, metering methodology, among others, is also expected by the municipality under the agreement.
BWUI is also expected to provide th town with potable water free of charge equivalent to 3% of the water extracted from the wells per month.
The municipality is operating the Balilihan Waterwrks System whose sources are extracted from thepumping stations thru submersible pumps in barangay Del Carmen Weste, Del Carmen Sur, Cabad, Sal-ing, Hanopol Norte, Del Rosario and Sto. Nino. (rvo)