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P40 million water clarifying plant in Ormoc inaugurated

Lalaine Jimenea (The Freeman) - June 22, 2018 - 12:00am

ORMOC CITY, Philippines — The first phase of the P 40-million clarifying plant at the Ahag Filtration Gallery, a major source of water for city residents here, was inaugurated in a simple blessing last Monday, in time for the rainy season.

Present were Mayor Richard Gomez and councilor Benjamin Pongos Jr. who just came from the oath taking of the city’s barangay officials, Ormoc Waterworks System officer-in-charge Engr. Fulton Manawatao, chief executive officer of Mactan Rock Engr. Antonio Tompar, which is the contractor of the project, and his engineer-in-charge Engr. Corazon Egona, and water consultant Engr. Jose “Piping” Tolo.

The clarifying plant, a technology that has been in the country for 30 years already, will solve Ormoc’s problem with turbid water. To recall, it has been the common complaint of water consumers in the city that when it rains, there is no water from the faucet. This was because the water supply is cut off when it turns turbid.

When the Gomez administration came into power, Mayor Gomez inherited the problem. Officials later learned that this was because the clarifying plant was skipped in the construction of the filtration system.

Originally scheduled to be finished in April, there was a delay in the project implementation after a mild aftershock from the July 6 earthquake caused major damage to the existing water filtration plant, necessitating a major revision of the work to be done.

Tolo said that the first phase of the clarifying plant could supply consumers with 5,000 cubic meters of clear, clean water even when the source is turbid. Another plant of similar size will be finished next month. With the two clarifiers, it will be enough to supply the city proper, he said, and minimize the use of electric water pumps. Ormoc pays around P2 million a month for electricity of its 36 water wells.

Gomez also said he was pleased with the progress of the work, adding that the water problem was one of the worst problems he inherited from the previous administrations.

“Ito ang dahilang bakit dumami ang puting buhok ko kaagad,” he said.

The mayor also pointed out to the sedimentation pond constructed by the previous administration that was damaged by the aftershock. He said that this was what happens when “shortcuts” are taken, and there is corruption.

Tolo explained that a structural engineer opined that the thickness of the walls and floor of the sedimentation pond was 100 centimeters less than what is ideal for the water volume it holds. Whether there was a deliberate deviation from the original program of works for the sedimentation pond he cannot say, because they never found the program of works for the P500-million water system constructed during the time of Mayor Eric Codilla.

RICHARD GOMEZ
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