By Genalyn Kabiling
The government has moved to ensure a stable supply of water, energy, and fuel as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte said in his third weekly report to Congress.
The President made the assurance as the government stepped up efforts to respond to the public health emergency and mitigate its impact on people and the economy.
In his third report to the congressional oversight committee, the President said the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has raised the water allocation of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System from 42 cubic meters per second (cms) to 46 cms until April 30.
The higher water allocation seeks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus disease with frequent hand-washing and bath-taking, according to Duterte.
Duterte also said the water level in Angat Dam reached 193.92 meters as of April 9, which is 13.92 meters above the minimum operating level of 180 meters, and 5.14 meters higher compared to the level during the same period last year.
The water levels in Ipo Dam and La Mesa Dam are 100.7 meters and 77.09 meters respectively.
“The Pagasa’s (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration) rainfall forecasts project sustainable water supply in the Angat reservoir in the coming months,” Duterte said.
Duterte, in his second report to Congress last week, said more than 500 water districts earlier committed to deliver safe drinking water to 4.7 million households. To help ensure adequate supply, more than 232 water projects are being undertaken.
NWRB has also directed water utility operators to ensure the continued supply of water to all hospitals and institutions, including quarantine sites and holding areas for coronavirus patients and health personnel.
Sufficient energy supply
The President assured the nation that the country’s energy supply continues to be “sufficient” with a high level of reserve capacity for power generation at 37 percent as of April 8.
The country also has an inventory of crude and refined petroleum products for 56.4 days as of April 8, he added.
He said the Department of Energy has established a 24/7 Bayanihan Energy Service hotline to address issues and concerns of industry players and consumers. He said the hotline continues to respond to the issues and questions raised by stakeholders.