Osmeña Waterworks in the 40s
BREAKTHROUGH - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - January 9, 2017 - 12:00am

Two years after World War II, the Cebu City Government through its Municipal Board enacted an ordinance regulating the public and private services of the Osmeña Waterworks System in Cebu City, fixing fees for services.

The ordinance provided the procedure how a resident could avail the services of the first and, at that time, the only water system run by the local government of Cebu City.

The ordinance said that persons desiring connection with the water system shall make a written application to the Osmeña Waterworks System on the blank form provided. If the applicant was not the owner of the house or premises where connection was desired, the application must also be signed by the owner of the property who should guarantee the payment of water furnished in case of default of the consumer.

Section 2 of the ordinance provided also that all water shall be measured through water meters. Meters shall be furnished by the Water System (now known as the Metropolitan Cebu Water District) which could either be paid for by the property owner or consumer, or rented in the manner and at the rates specified.

It also provided that if it was paid, it shall become the property of the owner or consumer after paying the cost. The property owner or consumer could however provide his own meter provided that once installed the same shall be under the control of the System and subject to the regulations covering the installation, care, and inspection of meters provided and to such regulations as may subsequently be promulgated by the Osmeña Waterworks System.

The ordinance provided that all consumers who were considered or furnished with water through "flat rate" service and those whose applications have been approved were required to provide a standard water stand in accordance with the plans adopted by the Osmeña Waterworks for their water service.

The meter stand as required by the ordinance should be installed within 48 hours after receipt by the consumers of the advice to do so as issued by the System. The installation of the water stand should be done only by the employees of the Osmeña Waterworks System. Upon completion of the meter stand and the installation of the water meter these consumers would be classified under the "meter rate" service. The cost of the water meter to be furnished by the Osmeña Water Works System shall be determined by the City Treasurer, City Auditor, and City Engineer. It shall include the actual purchase price, transportation, and handling charges and such other charges incurred in the acquisition of same.

The ordinance enacted on December 10, 1947 provided the procedure that should a property owner or consumer would decide to have his water connection cut off by the System before he has completely paid the cost of the water meter furnished by the System he should so inform the System. In such event, the meter should be removed and deposited with the System. Anytime, within three months after it was removed the property owner or consumer could redeem his meter upon payment of the unpaid balance plus storage fee of P1.50 a month. If after the three month period the property owner or consumer concerned would fail to redeem the meter and if he failed to do so after forty-eight hours from his receipt of a notification issued by the System for the redemption of the meter, the said meter should be forfeited to and shall again become the property of the Osmeña Water Works System.

The permits to connect with the Waterworks System werre not transferrable and would be issued for only one house or property, except where several adjacent houses were owned by the same person and the owner desired that all houses be supplied through one connection.

The Municipal Board of the City of Cebu that enacted Ordinance No. 62 were composed of Marcos M. Morelos, Atty. Catalina Solidum Ybañez, Filemon R. Zapanta, Atty. Crecencio Tomakin, Atty. Paciente S. Villa, Juan C. Seno, Jose P. Nolasco and Jovito S. Abellana.

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