Legazpi spares water users of septage fees

By Emmanuel Solis and Connie Calipay

To ease the financial difficulties being experienced by Legazpi City residents as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the city government has removed its mandatory charging of septage fees presently included in the billing statement being issued to water consumers by the Legazpi City Water District (LCWD).


In an interview on May 13, Mayor Noel Rosal said starting May this year, all water consumers in the city will be spared from the fee as the city government will pay the private company that constructed the septage facilities in Sitio Caridad, Barangay Banquerohan, where the city’s sanitary landfill is located.


“This removal of the mandatory septage fees is also aimed at lessening the financial burden of our people due to this prevailing Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.


He said the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) and the city’s Local Finance Committee have approved payment for the expenses of Chemical Research Products Industrial Sales, Inc. (CRPIS) in constructing and making the project operational in 2017.


The city government and LCWD had entered into a memorandum of agreement for an additional P80 per month in the water bill of consumers and P250 for commercial establishments while the CRPIS is in operation.


“I submitted already a draft ordinance to the SP regarding the city government’s takeover of the operation of the septage facilities,” Rosal said.


He added that they also lowered the charges on septic tank siphoning from P6,000 to P4,500 for residential customers, and P7,500 to P6,000 for commercial establishments.


He also clarified that water consumers who already paid advance septage fees would no longer have to pay once they avail of the services of the facilities until all their advance payments are consumed or fully charged to their availed services.


“Those residents or business establishments who want to de-sludge their septic tanks should only ask the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) for scheduling the septage treatment services,” Rosal added.


He said the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has recognized the implementation of the city’s Septage Treatment Facility Program (STFP) as an effective tool to protect the water resources and prevent the contamination and pollution being caused by septic wastes when damped into open water sources.


The project materialized through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed in 2017 by Rosal and Jose L. de Jesus, CRPIS chairman.


The STFP is a project of Legazpi City under its comprehensive septage and wastewater treatment facility program in compliance with Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 2004 as well As Presidential Decree PD 198 or the Water District Law, and PD 856, or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines. (PNA)