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ROUGH CUTS | Split the water service area – 2

PEOPLE residing in Tacunan, Tugbok District are surely happy that the shortcut route from Catalunan Grande to their barangay is undergoing widening.  And the completed portion which is from the junction of Catalunan-Elenita Heights roads going up to Congressman Polong Duterte’s residence to the crossing going to a sitio where an Ateneo housing project is rising are very well illuminated with first class solar street lights. 

     Unfortunately, from that junction, the stretch leading to the boundary of Catalunan Grande and Tacunan has remained a 4-meter wide barangay road.  It seems that  the inclusion of the stretch in the widening project is not yet visible.  Ironically, a new concrete bridge spanning the small creek that separates the two mentioned barangays had long been completed including the approach from the Catalunan Grande side.     

     Supposedly the new concrete bridge is to replace the dilapidating one-lane steel-reinforced bridge that is presently used by motorists. People passing by the stretch are wondering aloud why the new bridge has not connected yet to the 4-meter wide road when doing the same could have helped obviate possible accidents in the area?  At present, the immediate approaches of the old bridge from both ends are blind curves with deep embankments on both sides.

     Hence, any slight miscalculation by drivers in approaching the bridge especially when two or four vehicles met, could lead one or all to fall into the ditches of the roadsides.

     May be it is not too much if we have to call the attention of either the District Office of the Department of Public Works and highways (DPWH), or the City Engineer’s Office of Davao City, or perhaps the Office of Congressman Polong Duterte to possibly shed light on the status of the bridge.

     What is the problem attendant to the non-connection of the concrete bridge to the road, is it the usual right-of-way problem?  If it is, then why was the bridge constructed without completing the acquisition of the right of way?  We cannot therefore blame some people for harboring suspicion that some officials of government agencies that have roles in the implementation of projects like roads and bridges are in a hurry for a percentage or commissions from the contractors.


     Maybe it is already the norm practiced by the Davao City Water District to be erratic in its sending out of advisories either for scheduled water service interruption of giving out explanation why such outage in certain areas of its service coverage is happening. Or, maybe it is the negligence of the maintenance and repairs department people to immediately inform the water system’s communications unit of certain problems in the agency’s distribution lines that made the latter also clueless of what is happening in the water firm’s operation.

     As we had written on this space last Tuesday we never came across any advisory from the DCWD’s information group headed by Ms. JC Duhaylungsod that a long water outage was to happen starting last Tuesday morning (September 20) to extend until noon the next day. Since there was no advice residents in our place and other adjoining barangays served by the Calinan Riverside Water System were caught unprepared and hardly anyone was able to store water for household use.

     When water service was restored between 12 noon to 1 p.m. last Wednesday we believed it was the end of our waterless day. But we were wrong in our assumption. Yesterday at about 10 in the morning the water pressure started going down and our family scrambled for water containers. But alas! Even before we could fill one can, the water vanished. And again as we finished writing this piece at about 1 p.m. water was still nowhere from the faucets. We have no idea when the outage was to remain. One thing certain though is that like in the previous unannounced water service outages, we were unable to store water for our household use sufficient for the duration of the interruption. Such incidents are fast becoming nightmares to the consumers served by the herein-mentioned Water System at Calinan Riverside.  And we seem to see no end to it in the immediate time frame.  

     But let us be honest here. We are taking this issue up more often in our column, not so much manifesting our personal complaint. We fully understand that faults in distribution lines, especially for water where the pipes are underground, are expected incidents

     Rather this is our small way of reminding the concessionaire that it might already have more than surpassed the limit of its capability to serve its consumers. Thus, it is time for the agency to look for other viable options to improve its services

     This is also one clarion call for the local government to intervene considering that the most affected consumers are the city residents and the various commercial and industrial establishments paying the city taxes from out of their operation.

     May be it is also time for the people from the most affected areas to raise howls of protest and implore for the city government’s support for the fast action on their lack of water service.

     And if the local government, the city’s legislative body see no legal impediment in dividing the city into two water service areas, why not explore doing so? Say, one area to be retained by DCWD is the city’s south and south west sectors where all the current water sources are located. The north and northeast sector starting from the Agdao district up to  Lasang can be offered to other interested concessionaires. We think that would be fair.

     After all, the water agency already got what it so badly wanted – a 60 percent increase in water rate hike.


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