July 19, 2024

The municipality of Bokod, Benguet will soon create a municipal water system management board (MWSMB) to oversee the water resources in the town.

In an ordinance, the town council pushes for the MWSMB that will manage and regulate the water distribution systems put up in the town.

Bokod has constructed gravity water systems and several pump-up water systems in the various barangays.

“Due to the fast-growing population and degrading of the forest cover within the water source, scarcity of water supply is being experienced,” the ordinance stated.

A pump-up water system requires electricity or fuel oil for it to function.

“Thus, proper management of the water system is very much necessary for the sustainability of the water supply,” it added.

The role of the management board is for general supervision and control of the water system association or cooperatives; formulate and approve policies, plans, programs and activities in relation to water management; and initiate seminars and training of the water associations.  

It shall also address complaints, and queries from the water beneficiaries; conduct regular quarterly meetings or as the need arises; and to formulate and implement measures that will promote protection and preservation of watershed areas for sustainable potable water supply.

The board shall be composed of the municipal mayor as the chairman, vice-chaired by the municipal vice mayor, the municipal water system supervisor as the secretariat, and with members from the municipal environment and natural resources office, and the municipal planning and development coordinator.

Also included as members are the municipal health officer, disaster risk reduction and management office, municipal treasurer, accountant, engineer, committee on environment and health, representative from the civil society organization, and the sanitation inspector.

As the secretariat, the municipal water system supervisor, designated by the mayor, will ensure that the provision of the ordinance, along with policies and activities for the water system management are properly implemented.

The supervisor shall initiate the review and recommend to the MWSMB any amendments to the policies, “that would be advantageous to the water association or cooperation”.

Also, the supervisor shall prepare and submit regular status reports including financial condition of the water association, and shall receive complaints and queries from individuals concerning the water management.

To implement the program, an amount of P100,000 shall be included in the annual budget for proper implementation of the ordinance.

The provincial board of Benguet gave a favorable review to the ordinance. – Ofelia C. Empian