Bank grants Surigao water utility P202-M loan

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – United Coconut Planters Bank-Surigao branch has recently granted the multi-million loan to Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD).

Young Allaniel Bumanglag, manager of UCPB-Surigao told MindaNews Friday they have convinced SMWD to borrow P202, 759, 963.14 after offering the lowest interest rate.

Dr.  Bernardo T. Mora Jr., the chairman of the Board of Director of SMWD said they are so thankful to the UCPB for giving them such interest rate.

“No other financial institutions surpassed their offered to us, not even the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA),” he said.

Mora said the amount borrowed from UCPB will be used to pay the water district’s p202-million loan from LWUA.

He said that in 2000 the SMWD obtained a loan of P250 million from LWUA for its projects which is payable in 25 years, and began paying P2.3 million every month since 2004.

He said they wanted to pay the loan with LWUA in full with the amount loaned from UCPB in order to save over P200 million, adding they could be debt-free in 10 years.

Engr. Benjamin R. Ensomo Jr., general manager of SWMD said this initiative taken by its board of directors will boost their capability for future projects to meet the fast-growing demand for potable water in the city which has now ballooned to 21,000 households from 16,000 in 2010.

Meanwhile, heavy rains caused a landslide near the reservoir of SMWD causing an interruption in water service Saturday.

Ensomo said their pipelines in Ouano Ceniza Heights in Barangay Washington were cut off affecting water supply in the Barangay Taft, Washington, San Juan, Sabang, Cagniog, Togbongon, Luna, Bonifacio and Rizal.

He said they immediately dispatched their personnel to repair the damage pipes and service was restored by 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Low lang ang pressure hinuon pero we are doing our best to fix this as quick as we can,” he said.

Residents here had been complaining about the water supply in the past few days because of the interruptions.

Surigao City had been experiencing heavy rains since late December causing the water supply to be murky.

Water concessionaires in the city have been relying on surface water such as creeks and streams. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)