Duterte orders LWUA to repair and restore water supply in Catanduanes

Published November 3, 2020, 11:07 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has directed the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to help repair and restore the water supply in Catanduanes and other areas devastated by typhoon “Rolly.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

The President said concerned authorities must ensure the availability of potable water for the people  after receiving reports about the disruption of the water system in some calamity areas.

“I’m sure that one of them or any one of them is listening now. I’m directing LWUA to help. Go there and repair. Help repair the water system,” Duterte said during a meeting with Cabinet members and other disaster relief officials at the Malago clubhouse in Malacañang Park Monday. 

“Have it function immediately. Walang tubig ‘yung mga tao doon (The people have no water there). So let it not be a thing just to be talking about. I want to know if there is somebody there already working on it,” he said.

The President issued the directive after asking Office of Civil Defense (OCD) administrator Ricardo Jalad about the status of the water supply in the typhoon-hit communities. Duterte asked if there was already an ongoing repair to ensure that the people have water to drink.

“General Jalad, I have a question for you. Iyon bang sinabi mong lugar na that the waterworks broke down, is there an ongoing repair or are things in the doldrums rather? Inaayos na ba ‘to? Walang mainom ang mga tao na tubig. O hanggang ngayon ganoon pa rin? (Are they fixing it? The people have no water to drink. Or is it still the same?)” Duterte asked Jalad.

Jalad informed the President that the governor of Catanduanes mentioned the disruption of water supply due to the power outage in the area. “So they are reliant on the availability of electrical power supply for the operations of the water district,” he said.

When Duterte asked if the water supply is operated by LWUA or a local undertaking, Jalad said the system is operated by the water districts.  “But I think LWUA is the — agency — national government agency supervising the water district or supporting it,” he told the President. 

The President held a meeting on the government’s disaster response and relief efforts Monday shortly after visiting typhoon-hit Guinobatan, Albay. He also conducted an aerial inspection of Albay and Catanduanes which have been pummeled with heavy rains and winds by the typhoon last Sunday.

Duterte made a public appearance Monday after drawing criticisms for his absence during the height of the typhoon on All Saints’ Day. Duterte hit back at critics looking for him, saying he merely waited for the typhoon to pass. He was in hometown Davao City monitoring the situation when the typhoon hit Bicol and other parts of the country.