Iloilo City declares state of calamity due to El Niño

Iloilo City has been placed under a state of calamity due to the effects of the El Niño  weather phenomenon.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod approved during a special session on Friday, April 26, a resolution declaring a city-wide state of calamity.

The eight councilors present voted unanimously to approve the resolution. They were councilors Eduardo Peñaredondo, Candice Magdalane Tupas, Leizl Zulueta-Salazar, Mandrie Malabor, Lyndon Acap, Plaridel Nava, Joshua Alim, and R Leone Gerochi.

The special session was presided by Gerochi.

All the allies of Congressman Jerry Treñas, namely Councilors Jay Treñas, Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Armand Parcon, and Ely Estante, ex-officio members Irene Ong and Leila Luntao, and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon were a no-show at the session.

The seven, except for Luntao who was on official travel, filed a special leave.

The present councilors asserted that their number was enough to form a quorum.

“At the start of the session we are eight so we have met the quorum…[while] they were on leave, in effect, they are not within the reach of Sangguniang Panlungsod. Besides, during the deliberation, if no one challenges the quorum, it is presumed that there is a quorum,” said Nava.

According to the councilor, eight votes are enough to approve the resolution.

Nava said the temporary presiding officer may cast his votes.

“That is found not only in out internal rules but stated in the Local Legislators Toolbox given by the Philippine Councilor’s League that when the presiding officer is merely temporary, he or she may cast his or her vote,” he said.

The state of calamity declaration will allow the city gov’t to use its calamity fund to help those affected by the water shortage.

Before the resolution was approved, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) head Donna Magno presented their report on the effects of El Niño on the supply of water in the city.

Magno said that the city was able to meet three of five criteria set by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). These are the following:

*at least 20 percent of the population are affected and in need of emergency assistance or those dwelling units have been destroyed

*widespread destruction of fishponds, crops, poultry and livestocks, and other agricultural products

*disruption of lifelines such as electricity, potable water system, transport system, communications systems and other related systems which cannot be restored within one week, except for highly-urbanized areas where restorations of the of the above lifelines cannot be made within 24 hours

Magno said 24.92% of the city’s total population, based on a survey they conducted, are affected by the water shortage.

The city’s population in 2019 is pegged at 472, 491.

City Administrator Hernando Galvez assured that the fund will be properly spent

He said the city will enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Metro Iloilo Water District for the distribution of water to affected barangays

“If the city is going to tap with MIWD’s 10 water hydrants, each cubic of water shall cost P23.Per day computation of the water requirement costs P93, 225.68. Thirty days of water rationing shall cost P2, 796, 770. 60; 60 days will cost P5, 593.540.50; and 90 days shall cost P8,390, 310.75,” Magno explained.IMT


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