Local execs scramble to address water crisis in Basilan
Residents of Hilltop in Bagong Ilog Pasig line up for water ration as water supply interruption continues at their area last March 12, 2019.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Local execs scramble to address water crisis in Basilan

John Unson (Philstar.com) - January 18, 2020 - 4:02pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Local officials are scrambling to address the shortage of water in Isabela City in Basilan, now affecting heavily-populated barangays in the area.

Irate residents and barangay officials are blaming past city officials and the Isabela Water District for the problem, for them a consequence of lack of foresight and in-depth projections of yearly increases in number of consumers and the accruing volume of needed supply each day.

House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman said Saturday he convened on Thursday the barangay captains in Isabela City and presided over an urgent dialogue with the management of ISAWAD on how to resolve the issue.

While the water utility is not under the Isabela City local government unit, Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman and Vice Mayor Kifli Salliman, both first termers, have been trying to flex their ministerial powers to help address the issue.

Hataman, lone congressional representative of Basilan, has urged the manager of ISAWAD, Alelie Almodovar, to focus attention on the issue.

Like Isabela City's newcomers mayor and vice mayor, the lawmaker was also elected only in May 2019.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman said he would task planners and engineers under his office to study the viability of harnessing potential sources of water in areas around Isabela City, which has more than 40 barangays.

Salliman had earlier urged police and Army units in Basilan to help the provincial government secure from loggers the rainforests in protected watershed areas in the province.

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