By Paulo Loreto Lim
In light of recent comments by Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) General Manager Mario Macatangay saying the drilling of new wells does not require the approval of the Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), the local legislative body passed a resolution earlier this week requesting the local utility firm comply with components of the Water Code of the Philippines and the Local Government Code.
The resolution, authored by City Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr., indicates Baciwa must obtain environmental compliance certificates (ECC) and a water permit for the construction of new wells.
It also notes, the utility firm must consult with local government units, non-governmental organizations, and relevant sectors to discuss the potential impact of the new construction on local residents and the community.
It also points out, prior to the said consultation, approval from the SP must also be granted “all its projects and programs.”
In a press release from Gamboa, he cites Article 13 of the Water Code of the Philippines, which indicates no person has the ability to provide water without a water permit.
In his earlier statement, Macatangay said SP approval was not needed because the programs implemented were meant “to augment the water shortage.”/WDJ