Bacolod: P1.2B bulk water project secures RONO from 5 LGUs

photo courtesy of The Visayan Daily Star

Bacolod City – Five local government units have issued a Resolution of No Objection (RONO) to the P1.2 billion bulk water project of the Negros Occidental provincial government, with the only exception being Silay City government, Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz disclosed over-the-weekend.

“The problem is not technical, it’s something else,” Diaz said in reply to a question why the Silay City Sangguniang Panlungsod is yet to issue a RONO for the bulk water project.

He said the three factions at the Silay City Council cannot agree on whether or not to issue the RONO to the province.

Diaz said that the municipalities of Manapla, E.B. Magalona, and the cities of Victorias, Talisay, and Bacolod, have already issued a RONO for the provincial government to push through the project.

Mayor Joedith Gallego disclosed Thursday that the City Council and sugar planters are opposing the bulk water project, as they expressed fears of a water shortage for Silaynons.

Despite opposition, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said that they will push through with the project, stressing that it was not just a sudden decision, adding that it underwent a study spanning several years.

Diaz said that water should be above politics.

“It is a basic need and a basic right of every Silaynon, and all of us should be one in supporting the bulk water project,” he pointed out.

“We will not be taking away water that is already given to them, based on their water permits,” Diaz said, apparently referring to the HPCO Sugar Central and other industries in Silay City.

He further said “Water is not owned by an LGU. It is being governed by the national government.”

The surface water of the Imbang and Malogo rivers that are to be tapped by the proposed bulk water project passes through the local government units of Victorias City, E.B. Magalona, and Talisay City, aside from Silay City.

The proposed water treatment facilities, under the proposed project, are to be established in Brgy. Guimbalaon, Silay City, and Malogo in E.B. Magalona.

The bidding for the project is slated for next month.

Asked if the opposition to the project will derail its realization, Lacson said “We will do everything possible to make it happen, especially our bidding for the bulk water supply.” (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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