By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has ordered all water utilities and service providers to prioritize the efficient supply of water to hospitals and other facilities that will be used to manage the spread of coronavirus disease.
Under the April 1 memorandum order issued by NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr., all water utility operators and service providers nationwide were asked to maintain and ensure the sustained and efficient supply of safe water to all hospitals or institutions, whether government-run or privately-owned or -managed, including makeshift structures/tents, especially those that are used for the treatment or as quarantine/holding areas for COVID-19 patients and/or health personnel or workers.
The agency also asked service providers to facilitate and immediately act on requests for the connection of water supply to all structures or facilities, whether permanent or otherwise, used in the fight against COVID-19, giving due consideration to the essential need of safe water in the operation of such facilities.
The NWRB likewise ordered the provision of all available means possible to provide water, in support of the operation of hospitals and similar medical or quarantine facilities.
Last March 12, the NWRB increased the raw water allocation of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) from 42 cubic meters per second (cms) to 46 cms, equivalent to around 4,000 million liters per day, in view of the requirement for high standards of cleanliness and public hygiene amid the coronavirus threat.
The decision to allocate additional raw water to MWSS ensures the steady supply of water supply to Metro Manila, considering the government’s declaration of a state of public health emergency and the importance of water in undertaking preventive measures against COVID-19.