MNWD assures steady supply

By Jason B. Neola


AFTER replacing the water pump motor at Cararayan pumping station 1 with bigger engine and brought the water pump to operation in station 5 in that barangay that has been unserviceable for a long time, the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD) this week has started to conduct thorough check-up on the Mabolo pumping station to ensure its worthiness.

“We hope that with these 3 pumping stations, we can be able to meet the water supply requirement of our concessionaires not only during the celebration of the Peñafrancia fiesta but in the days ahead as well,” MNWD General Manager Florencio T. Mongoso said.


He said the water district is also working on the appropriate water supply pressure adjustment to ensure balanced distribution of safe water to households irrespective of their location in the MNWD area of coverage.


With rains that start to pour since July, this year, GM Mongoso expressed hope that higher groundwater level will be achieved. “With it [higher groundwater level], we can be able to source more water and be able to meet the water supply requirement of every concessionaire, especially during the fiesta,” he said.


The feast, which will be the 312th year of devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, patroness of Bicolandia, is the biggest Marian event in Southeast Asia. It is celebrated traditionally in Naga City with more than a million pilgrims, devotees, tourists, and balikbayans trooping in from different regions across the country and abroad.


Mongoso said that aside from 26 pumping stations, distribution of drinking water during the fiesta celebration can also be done with the operationalization of 2 MNWD lorries and a water tanker from the Bureau of Fire Protection, which is now undergoing decontamination.


Water rate increase


With the escalating prices of fuel and electricity today, the MNWD official said that it is inevitable not to increase its water rate to be able to cover the firm’s production cost.


He revealed that the public utility firm, a government owned and controlled corporation, has been suffering from unfortunate losses for almost four years now due to unimplemented water rates approved in 2019 by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).


The implementation was withheld because of MNWD’s failure to call for a public hearing due to the occurrence of the continuing global Covid-19 pandemic.


Mongoso, however, said that the adoption of LWUA-approved rate is unlikely this year after the management committee members opted to give attention first on matters that will boost the fiscal standing of the firm by employing good housekeeping and cost-reduction strategies.


“I think it will be more reasonable if we have to come up first with an effective fiscal management before we ask for anything else especially an increase in water rate,” he said.


Mongoso’s previous assignment was head of LGU Naga’s Metro PESO. On the strength of secondment agreement, he was designated interim MNWD general manager in the hope that his management style can help bring back the firm’s operations to normalcy.


He assured that the dismissal from work of 73 MNWD employees, although it was part of the rightsizing effort with due process. “We can expect that more heads will roll in the coming days due to circumstances that necessitate such reduction,” he said.


Rightsizing is a mechanism of costs cutting, by reducing the employees and hence cutting on salaries and expenses. On the other hand, rightsizing is a process or reorganizing and restructuring, especially of the top management for maximum profits.


An inside source said the MNWD management is aiming to dismiss or not renew the contract of 47 more employees as part of its plan.


The displaced personnel were endorsed to Metro PESO for possible employment with private establishments while some were referred by the water district itself to private contractors.