Panicuason councilor seeks funds, legal assistance against MNWD
By Paulo DS. Papa
The Barangay Development Council (BDC) of Panicuason in Naga City has requested funding from the city government for the rehabilitation of its potable water system and sought the legal assistance of the city regarding the case it filed against the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD) over water rights claim.
Panicuason barangay councilor Jose C. Napay in an interview said that there is a BDC recommendation for the passage of a barangay ordinance authorizing the Panicuason Water System (PAWASA) to regulate the water distribution line that provides free drinking water supply to some 1,890 residents.
The proposed ordinance once approved by the barangay council, will allow PAWASA to rehabilitate the six kilometers long water distribution lines connecting the households from the reservoir without assistance from the Metro Naga Water District (MNWD).
The pipeline, as of press time, needs repair due to the damages brought by previous typhoons and illegal tapping. Because of the damaged lines, the barangay government has implemented 12-hour zonal water distribution system.
Meanwhile, MNWD through its general manager, Virgilio Luansing, in a text message said that they have water rights to all sources of water in the city.
Napay stressed that 90 percent of the 2,100 residents of Panicuason claimed that they have the right to access free water since their barangay located at the foot of Mt. Isarog is one of the sources of safe drinking water in Naga City.
He said Panicuason residents want freedom from water bills. The MNWD wants to take-over PAWASA’s reservoir claiming it has the franchise to distribute water in the city.
“Naka depende sinda sa PAWASA asin mayo man nin kakayanan na magbayad nin tubig bulan-bulan. Mawot ninda na pabulusan nin inomon na tubig nin libre ta yaon na man lang sa barangay an source kan tubig” Napay said.
He confirmed that the case filed by the barangay council in the court against the MNWD remains pending until now.
Napay intimated that they are optimistic that they will get a favorable decision since the city government through Mayor Nelson Legacion is supportive of their case.
The BDC requested funds from the city government for the rehabilitation of PAWASA facilities.
The Panicuason’s annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for the city is P978,000. Some P300,000 of which is intended for mandated services in every barangay such as health, water, livelihood, market or infrastructure, education, environment, solid waste management, and peace and order.
Napay said that the PAWASA rehabilitation project, once funded by the LGU, will took three years to complete.
Naga City has a proposed P1.6 budget for 2022. The Sangguniang Panlungsod is expected to discuss the same next month.