CEPMO stops deepwell drilling
The City Environment and Parks Management Office issued a stoppage order to a resident drilling a deepwell in one barangay in the city.
In a report to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Engr. Sofronio Pascua of the Cepmo said the owner was advised to secure a permit before proceeding with the drilling.
Pascua said they will continue monitoring the site and others of similar situations.
Asst. Cepmo head Marivic Empizo said illegal deepwell drilling is punishable under the Environment Code with a maximum fine of P5,000 after court procedure.
She said there is an ongoing inventory of deepwells in the city by a committee headed by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources and Water Utilization Section under the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), and the Cepmo.
“If there are drillings reported, these are ordered to stop then monitored by barangay officials to get water drilling permits,” Empizo said.
The city government and the Baguio Water District had requested the NWRB to address the proliferation of illegal deepwells in the city being one of the causes of the declining yield of water as these deplete the recharge of underground sources resulting to the decline in pumping water levels.
In 2021, the city listed a total of 210 permitted water companies drawing from the city’s aquifers while the number of those that do not have permit was still not determined. – Aileen P. Refuerzo