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Sans Silay RONO, Capitol Bulk Water project bidding to push through

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Even without issuance of RONO (Resolution Of No Objection) by the Silay City government, the bidding for the P2 billion Bulk Water Project of the Negros Occidental provincial government, scheduled on June 27 will proceed, according to Atty. Jessa Genteroles, Provincial Government Focal Person for Public Private Partnership projects.

“It is legally viable to proceed without the RONO of Silay,” declared Genteroles.

The local government units of Manapla, Victorias City, E.B. Magalona, Talisay City, and highly urbanized Bacolod City have already issued RONOs for the bulk water project, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed earlier.

Citing the stand of Silaynons, Mayor Joedith Gallego said they are not in favor of the move of the provincial government to tap the surface water of Imbang River, claiming that it will affect their sources of water.

Genteroles clarified that Silay City will not experience water shortages, even if the bulk water project will push through.

“They have enough water, because we were able to get a certificate of water availability from the NWRB (National Water Resources Board),” she said.

This is the first thing we secured, before we proceed, identifying whether the project is viable or not, Genteroles said.

Based on the certificate of water availability issued by NWRB, about 100 million liters per day (MLD) will be sourced from the Malogo River, and 34 to 36 MLD will also be generated from the Imbang River, she added.

The sources of the bulk water project are the unsubscribed surface waters of the Imbang River at Brgy. Guimbalaon, Silay City, and Malogo River at the boundaries of Brgy. Canlusong, E.B. Magalona and Brgy. Kapitan Ramon in Silay City.

On the other hand, the Capitol bulk water project will only need 34.5 MLD, according to Genteroles.

She also explained that they sought a RONO from Silay, since they want the project to be smooth, as it goes along the process of development.

For the Malogo River alone, we have enough water. Even without the issuance of RONO, Silay City can still avail of water supply from the Bulk Water Project, she said.

Genteroles recalled that the Silay City Water District even entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the provincial government, to avail of water supply from the project.

Meanwhile, Gallego also suggested that water to be tapped from Malogo River should be from the lower portion of the National Irrigation Administration dam in Brgy. E. Lopez, Silay City.

Vice Mayor Thomas Maynard Ledesma disclosed yesterday that a committee hearing will be held during the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Monday, to tackle the provincial government bulk water project.

Since we have the certificate of water availability from NWRB, Genteroles said “that assures us that Silay has in fact, enough water supply for the project, without compromising the other needs of residents of Silay, such as irrigation, even households.”*

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