Business groups in Iloilo have called for improved water services in the metro that is currently under the state of calamity.

The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILED), in a statement dated May 22, said they strongly support Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas’ call for the Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) to urgently enhance its water delivery services.

“The current water crisis is a significant concern, and immediate action is required to ensure the well- being of our residents and the continued growth of our local economy. As the primary water distributor, MPIW has the responsibility to provide a reliable and sufficient water supply to all districts within its franchise area,” said ILED chairman engineer Terence Uygongco

The foundation further expressed their full support to the Mayor’s planned meeting with MPIW to discuss potential solutions and to consider transferring service areas that MPIW cannot adequately serve to other capable distributors.

“It is imperative that MPIW explore all possible avenues to enhance its service delivery, including the implementation of advanced technologies to lower its non-revenue losses,” the statement further read.

While they commend MPIW’s medium-term plans for a 60.5 MLD Desalination Plant, they urge them to expedite these projects to mitigate the current crisis.

The Iloilo Business Club (IBC) also demanded for the immediate action of MPIW regarding the matter.

“We believe that diversifying water sources is essential for safeguarding and ensuring uninterrupted service delivery to businesses and residents alike. We urge Metro Pacific Iloilo Water to heed this petition and take immediate action to add more water supply,” read part of the group’s letter to MPIW penned by IBC president Emil Diez.

The Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT) headed by Jessraf Palmares likewise issued a position paper calling to address the water shortage crisis and exploring alternative water sources to sustain Iloilo’s IT-BPM Industry.

They cited that the current water shortage problem is directly impacting the 45,000 full-time employees within their industry.

Particularly, they said this affects employee productivity, investor confidence, and economic growth.

“This shortage not only affects work performance but also threatens business operations, discourages future investments, and impedes economic growth. Immediate and strategic action is required to ensure a sustainable water supply and to maintain the momentum of Iloilo’s economic development,” they pointed out.

Similarly, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Iloilo, Inc. (FCCCII) shared the same demands.

They specifically call on MPIW to fast-track its infrastructure improvements to increase water supply and improve distribution, enhance transparency and communication by providing regular updates on the progress of infrastructure projects and clearly communicate any service interruptions or disruptions; and prioritize customer service by establishing a responsive and efficient customer service system to address complaints and concerns promptly.

“Should MPIW fail to adequately address these issues within a reasonable timeframe, we urge the relevant authorities to consider allowing other qualified water distributors to operate in the franchise area. This would promote healthy competition and ensure that the needs of our community are met,” they added.

FCCCII also said they are ready to collaborate with MPIW and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions to this crisis.

The Iloilo Hotels, Restaurants and Resorts Association (IHRRA) under Angela Mapua Abenir, on its part said, the water crisis is affecting their businesses with the burden of additional costs.

Aside from this, they cited the increase in the influx of conferences and conventions as well as the number of local and foreign tourists.

“We stand out more than ever as we have been awarded the City of Gastronomy by the United Nations, the first in the country….All our efforts to promote and market our beloved city as a tourism destination is marred by this pressing concern. As the franchise holder, there should be a sense of urgency to find a solution to this matter,” IHRRA said.Iloilo City PIO