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Silay SP sets hearings on bulk water project

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Not satisfied with the explanations of the representatives of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and provincial government of Negros Occidental, Vice Mayor Thomas Maynard Ledesma yesterday said that the Silay Sanggunian Panlungsod will hold committee hearings on the proposed P1.2 billion bulk water project of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.

The provincial government is seeking a Registration Of No Objection (RONO) from the Silay City government on its bulk water project, which will utilize the unsubscribed surface water of both the Malogo and Imbang Rivers that pass through several of its barangays.

Ledesma admitted that the Silay City council members were not satisfied with the response of USAID and provincial government representatives to their questions during the SP regular session last Monday, stressing that their presentations were not comprehensive and inconsistent.

While they presented a study on Imbang River as source of the bulk water project , Ledesma said they could not answer when the study was done, and how much volume of water will be used, noting also the Silaynons are now experiencing low supply of water because of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

He again clarified that they are not opposing the project,but only want clarifications.

The local government units of Victorias, E.B. Magalona, Manapla, Talisay, and Bacolod have already issued RONOs for the project.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz earlier stressed that “No LGU owns water. It is governed by the national government, who owns it.”

“Water should be above politics, it is a basic need and basic right of every Silaynon and Negrosanon,” Diaz pointed out.

Ledesma, who debunked claims that politics are involved in the opposition to the bulk water project, said that it will be the SP committees on Environment and Barangay Affairs that will hold a joint committee hearing, where all barangay captains of Silay City, among others, will participate.

The Negros Occidental Bulk Water Supply Project (NBWSP) aims to address the increasing water demand in the province through the development of a bulk water supply system, which will have a minimum capacity of 34.5 million liters per day.*

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