DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Davao City Water District (DCWD) recently assured consumers it is keen to implement the Septage Treatment Plant (STP) in Davao City but could not push through with its execution due to the absence of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the water district and the city government.
DCWD deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod told reporters on Thursday that the MOA is still pending at the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Davao.
The water district is still in the process of negotiating with the SP for the finalization of the MOA and for its signing.
The implementation of STP is pursuant to the Ordinance No. 0363-10 of the SP which gives the local government authority to establish the “Septage and Sewerage Management Program of Davao.”
“We are still working it out with the City Council because we have to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the city regarding the location of the treatment facility,” Duhaylungsod said.
She added that the management of the water district has been working with the SP for the finalization of the MOA for quite sometime now.
Duhaylungsod said they understand that the SP is also protecting the interest of the local government before finally entering into an agreement.
The MOA, she added, is still being deliberated at the SP.
“It has once progressed to second reading last year but it was reverted to the City Legal (Office) to be checked for some infirmities. The proposed MOA has been passed on (the) first reading already and we are waiting for its second reading,” Duhaylungsod said.
“We cannot move forward without the MOA with the city (government). Our move now is to continue to negotiate with the council. Although we were also glad that it was previously included in the State of the City Address of the Mayor who considers it a priority project,” she added.
The DCWD, she said, is ready to implement the project once approved.
“We want this to be implemented already especially now that there are incidences and reports from concerned agencies of high coliform especially in the coastal areas,” Duhaylungsod said.
In September this year, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Davao Region reported that the level of disease-causing coliform bacteria in Davao River is at 900,000 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (ML).
Duhaylungsod reported that there are no operational treatment facilities in the city yet other than private desludgers.
“As of now, there is no treatment yet. Although there are some desludging but we cannot determine the integrity of the treatment of these private desludgers,” she said.
The establishment of the STP aims to reduce the pollution attributed to untreated septage discharge to protect the water resource, to improve water quality, sanitation, and public health conditions, and provide efficient and affordable septage desludging services initially to existing DCWD customers. (davaotoday.com)