The Iloilo City Government has expanded the coverage of its rationing from 25 to 35 barangays affected by water shortage under its “Oplan Bulig Tubig Sa Syudad.”

Data from the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office showed that 186,900 liters of water were delivered to 26 barangays as of May 5.

Aside from the 25 barangays identified to be moderately to severely affected by drought, the water rationing also covers densely populated barangays of the city, engineer Neil Ravena, head of the Iloilo City General Services Office (GSO), said during an interview Monday.

Ravena said that on May 10, they will also start the distribution of water procured using the PHP12.6 million quick response fund.

Suppliers Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) and South Balibago Waterworks have committed to deliver 696 cubic meters every day to meet the requirement of 15 liters per day per person, he said.

Ravena also assured that while the water provided by the city government is safe, they have no control over the containers used by the residents. Upon delivery, the distribution of water in the barangays is managed by their officials.

“I would rather suggest that for their safety, they boil the water because we are not sure of their individual containers if it might be contaminated,” he said.

Ravena also advised barangays to purchase their static tanks to ensure they have enough water supply for their constituents.

Meanwhile, South Balibago area manager Rey Delfin said they will continue to monitor their treatment plant in Barangay Bongco in Pototan after the salt intrusion on Sunday, causing the total dissolved solids (TDS) to reach 1,600 parts per million (ppm).

TDS refers to the concentration of dissolved substances in water; the accepted level is less than 660 ppm, according to the Philippine National Standard for Drinking Water.

In an interview, he said that currently, there is no problem with potability but the public is cautioned not to drink the water.

“We monitor the salinity every time there is a high tide. So far, we have no problem,” Delfin said, adding it will not also affect their distribution of water to the city government.Perla Lena/PNA