Disposable plates, pricier pails: How water shortage is affecting Pinoys

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2019 09:09 AM | Updated as of Mar 12 2019 11:15 AM

MANDALUYONG - Residents in several villages here queued up before dawn Tuesday to fill pails and drums with water from tankers as taps in the city and nearby areas ran dry due to a service interruption. 

Concessionaire Manila Water has cut the water supply in Mandaluyong and other parts of Metro Manila as the water level in La Mesa Dam slid due to lack of rain and increasing demand. 

Water drums and pails on Tuesday sold for P90 to P100 each, up from P80. 

Purified water, previously priced at P95 per 7 liters, now cost P100 to P105. 

Bottled water supplies that used to last for a week now sell out in a day at sari-sari stores.

Some carinderias, meanwhile, used disposable plates and utensils or wrapped their plates with plastic to avoid washing them. This pushed up prices by P1 to P2 per serving at some eateries.

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Manila Water deployed 27 tankers for round-the-clock water delivery in areas hit by the service interruption, said corporate communications head Jeric Sevilla. 

He said the water deliveries prioritize hospitals.

Maynilad, which services the western half of Metro Manila, has agreed to share its supply with Manila Water. 

Maynilad has reservoirs that have a 291-million liter holding capacity, which were built after the firm's services were disrupted by the El Niño phenomenon in 2010, said corporate communications head Jennifer Rufo. 

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The water level at La Mesa Dam was at 68.85 meters around 6 a.m., below its critical level of 69 meters above sea level, said PAGASA Hydrologist Danny Flores. 

It is not advisable to conduct cloudseeding to spawn rains and raise the dam's level during summer, he told DZMM. 

"Iyung cloudseeding kasi depende iyun sa seedable clouds. Iyung clouds natin sa summer time, medyo maninipis. Hindi advisable iyung mag-cloudseeding," he said. 

(Cloudseeding depends on seedable clouds. Our clouds during the summer time are a bit wispy, it's not advisable to conduct cloudseeding.)

With a report from Lyza Aquino, ABS-CBN News