Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Waterless Patag folk threaten to stage rally, file lawsuit

ANGRY residents of Patag yesterday threatened to stage a rally to call on city hall to pressure VT Lao Construction to speed up the ongoing repair of the Ysalina Bridge.

They also threatened to file charges against those responsible for the disruption of the water supply to their communities.

The warning came as a result of a water crisis in Patag that stemmed from the retrofitting of the Ysalina Bridge, also known as the Carmen Bridge, this week.

‘‘We will call the attention of Mayor (Vicente) Emano in a protest rally in front of city hall,’’ one of the residents said. They were contemplating a lawsuit but ‘‘that would be the last resort.’’

Patag is among the barangays that have been badly affected by the ongoing bridge repair. Most of its communities have become waterless since Wednesday after the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) was forced to temporarily cut off a pipeline attached to the half a century-old Ysalina Bridge.

"The worst thing next to traffic (has) now happened, (there is) no water supply," said Engr. Jose Abucejo, a former COWD assistant general manager and a resident of Buenavista Village in Patag.
Abucejo described the situation in Patag: ‘‘It’s torturing us.’’

He called on city hall to quickly act on the problem.
COWD said the water crisis resulting from the bridge repair not only affected villages in the western area. It said the entire city would suffer from low pressure.

COWD chairperson Rey Java said the supply of water to the communities would not normalize until the pipeline is restored. And restoration would not be possible until the construction firm is finished with the retrofitting.

Badly hit areas include Carmen, Patag, Balulang, Bulua, Bulua, Kauswagan, Bonbon and Bayabas, Iponan and some areas in Barra, Opol town, Misamis Oriental.

A group of residents at Mendoza compound in Patag blamed city hall for the water crisis, saying it did not prepare for the bridge project.

One of the residents said he would rather have traffic jams than no water supply.
They said over 100 families in Mendoza Compound and Buenavista Village alone have been suffering due to the complete absence of a water supply since Wednesday.

"The COWD should help us (by) providing potable water. The local government is the one liable," said another homeowner.

Meanwhile, homeowners’ and youth associations’ in Patag have appealed to Patag barangay chairperson Maricor Calizo to act on the problem.

Maura Sabud, one of the complainant of the homeowners’ group, said Calizo should bring the complaints to city hall to pressure local officials to look for ways in solving the problem.

Sabud also asked the local fire department to help in delivering potable water for Patag residents.


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