DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 August) – The city must implement the first two phases of the four-phase septage project must to address the improper disposal of human wastes due to its lack of a treatment plant, Davao City Water District (DCWD) spokesperson Bernardo Delima Jr. said.
Delima told reporters on Wednesday that the proposal to build the treatment facilities was being discussed at the committee on environment of the city council, resolving such issues as how much clients should pay and the share of the local government unit from revenues.
He said once these issues are settled they expect the council to pass a resolution allowing City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to enter into an agreement with DCWD before they may proceed with the construction.
He said the DCWD, which has 221,000 service connections, has already set aside a budget worth P300 million to start the two phases, which would cater to both residential and commercial clients in the central business district.
At the rate the city is growing, Delima said the project is urgently needed because it lacks such a treatment plant.
He said even the local government recognizes the health and environmental risks resulting from the absence of a treatment plant, which pollutes the rivers with coliform bacteria.
“There is a necessity right now. On the implementation of the project, in our view, we take it positively. We don’t blame anyone for the delay because the city council has legitimate concerns, being the policymakers of Davao City. We don’t blame them nor any member of city council for any delay because incidental delay happens,” he said.
He said the third and fourth phases will proceed once they get sufficient funds from the first two phases to build them.
Each facility will need at least one hectare, he added.
Citing the Clean Water Act of 2004, Delima said the local government has the mandate to construct the septage facilities.
He added the DCWD was tapped to do it because it has the “mechanism to implement it.”
Also, Rule 9, Section 22 of City Ordinance 0rdinance 0363-10, which established the “septage and sewerage management program of Davao,” states that “septage, sewerage, and sewage treatment plant/facility shall be established pursuant to a memorandum of agreement entered into by and between the City Government of Davao and DCWD. The City Government shall provide an appropriate land which shall serve as the site of the septage, sewerage, and sewage treatment plant/facility.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)