DBM okays P430M for 4 rain catchment basins in city

The city government announced that the budget department reportedly approved the provision of some P430 million from the government’s annual budget next year for the put up of 4 additional rain harvesting facilities in the city to improve the water supply being provided by the Baguio Water District (BWD).

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong informed city legislators during the initial budget deliberations last Monday  he received information from Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado on the approval, in principle, of the earlier request submitted by the city government requesting the allocation of some P430 million for the construction of 4 additional rain harvesting facilities in the city.

Earlier, the BWD worked out the release of funds from the national government for the improvement of its Mount Sto. Tomas rain catchment basin that increased its storage capacity from 550,000 cubic meters to over 700,000 cubic meters and the put up of 2 rain harvesting facilities in the Busol watershed that can hold a total of 50,000 cubic meters of water.

BWD general manager Engr. Salvador M. Royeca disclosed that of these proposed 4 additional rain catchment basins to be funded by the national government, 2 will be constructed in Busol watershed, while one each will be constructed in the Buyog and Camp 8 watersheds.

Experts claim that one of the recommended interventions to ensure the steady supply of potable water in the city, especially during the dry season, is to construct rain harvesting facilities in strategic areas in the city to store substantial volume of rain water which could be released in staggered schedules to augment the limited potable water supply of the water district during summer.

Based on data from the city office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Baguio City receives the highest volume of rain annually, thus, efforts must be done by the concerned government agencies and the city government to store part of the huge volume of rain water through available engineering interventions to augment the limited supply.

The BWD general manager asserted the water district continues to explore other available interventions that are doable to augment its existing production of potable water to meet the increasing demand for water by the rapidly increasing population, aside from trying to work out the realization of the long overdue bulk water project that will ensure daily supply of water for the city.

Royeca expressed his gratitude to the national government for providing the required funds for these additional rain harvesting facilities in the different strategic areas in the city to help in sustaining the supply of potable water even during the summer months.

The city chief executive claimed the budget official informed him that the approved funds will be sourced from the regular infrastructure funds of the public works department for next year, thus, the project will be realized as soon as the funds shall have been released. - Dexter A. See