‘Unsatisfied’; Silay SP not convinced to issue RONO for bulk water project

Posted by watchmen
May 30, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE

The Silay Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) said they were not satisfied with the explanations about the proposed bulk water supply project of the Negros Occidental provincial government, that would convince them to issue a Resolution of No Objection (RONO) to proceed with the project.

Silay City Vice Mayor Thomas Maynard Ledesma, during the SP’s regular session earlier this week, said the proponent’s presentations were “not comprehensive and inconsistent.”

Ledesma said the proponents could not provide answers on how much volume of water will be used for the bulk water project, as the Silaynons have been experiencing low water supply because of the El Niño phenomenon.

Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development and the provincial government answered the SP’s concerns about the proposed P1.2 billion bulk water supply project, including the tapping of the Malogo River in Silay as a potential water source.

Ledesma reiterated that the city council is not opposing the project, but only wants clarifications.

The vice mayor said the SP will hold a joint committee hearing with the Committees on Environment and Barangay Affairs, to be attended by all village chiefs in Silay.

He earlier debunked claims that politics was involved in the supposed opposition to the project.

“We’re not against this. We just need to be clarified about this because this is a 38-year contract,” Ledesma said in an interview.

The SP remains adamant that they will not endorse the project without a thorough understanding of its implications.

The council also expressed concerns about the potential effects of the project on three barangays in the city and on commercial establishments, factories and agricultural sectors.

Earlier, Silay Mayor Joedith Gallego also expressed concerns about the project’s impact on the Silaynons, especially those who depend on the rivers for their daily needs.

Gallego said the project could affect the water supply from the Imbang River, which is already experiencing a decline in water volume.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the project would proceed amid opposition.

Lacson said that tapping into surface water is necessary due to the declining underground water supply, based on the results of a scientific study conducted by the provincial government.

The water supply project aims to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of clean water in Negros Occidental cities of Talisay, Silay and Victorias, as well as the municipalities of E.B. Magalona and Manapla, and capital Bacolod City, by developing surface water sources, while reducing dependence on groundwater wells./WDJ

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