WATER WOES

The Davao City Water District (DCWD) is willing to act as water provider to disgruntled homeowners of Deca Homes in Davao City.

As early as December last year, some residents of Deca Homes aired their disappointments through social media against 8990 Housing and BP Waterworks, the subdivision’s water provider, for the poor quality and service such as irregular water supply, water quality, and questionable water rate.

The residents want 8990 Housing Development Corp., Deca Homes’ developer, to turnover the water supply system to DCWD.

Lawyer Bernard Delima, spokesperson of DCWD, told media in AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum DCWD will not interfere in the operation of BP Waterworks, yet, he said DCWD is willing to provide water to Deca Homes homeowners as long as the developer will turnover the facility at no cost.

“We don’t interfere sa ilang negosyo, pero kung musulti ang developer na ihatag sa amoa, okay let’s talk about it, willing mi mudawat and usually pag- i-turn over sa amoa ang isa ka facility, turnover is without cost kay ang pag-turn over amo man i-repair ang tibuok facility bago namo gamiton og balik,” Delima said.  

Delima explained that before one can enter as water provider, the facility must be endorsed first by the current water provider.

“Deca is being operated by a different water supply provider of the developer. Ang condition is before we DCWD can enter is for the water provider to endorse or turn over the facility to us,” Delima said adding that water supply provision in Davao City is open to all water providers and not exclusive to DCWD.  

“Dili mi kasulod kay ang water supply provision is open to all and not exclusive to us. Puwede pud other providers makasulod. Dili namo sila mapugos na i-turn over sa amoa kay ilaha man ng negosyo pero willing mi mudawat. Just in case i-turn over nila ug kung kami na ang mudawat, kami na mu-operate, mu-maintain ug mu-repair sa leaks,” he said.  

Delima cited ways if homeowners prefer DCWD to provide them water like discussing the issue with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and with the Committee on Housing at the Davao City Council.

“They can lodge their complaints there. I am sure ang mga homeowners naa na’y nahibal-an kung what are the best ways to be undertaken,” he said.

He also said the primary agency that will regulate the water providers is the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) and the local government as to local permits.

“All complaints must be endorsed to NWRB and also when it comes to private water providers, ang regulator ana is also the NWRB,” he said.

He emphasized that disconnections and other things undertaken by BP Waterworks are internal rules and no need to be regulated. According to him, what’s being regulated is the tariff, pricing, and if they drill wells.

“As to the collections and the conduct of business these are internal rules prescribed by the developer,” he said.

He cited example of a subdivision in Mintal that was previously provided with water by a private water provider that is now being served by DCWD.

“Nalipay na sila kay very cheap among singil as compared to the previous water provider and the homeowners are also assured that the water is well-treated,” Delima said.  

Derf Maiz, a resident of Deca Homes Mintal posted last February 20, statement of 8990 Housing Development Corp through its general manager Mary Ann Tacay, who submitted the statement to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

In her letter to DHSUD OIC Lawyer Miguel Palma Gil, Tacay said collated reports and complaints were not brought to 8990 for appropriate action before they were publicized in social media platforms like Facebook and even escalated them to the Davao City Mayor’s Office (CIO).

She said 8990 Housing Development and BP Waterworks (BPW) are two separate and distinct corporate entities. She said since collated reports and complaints involve issues on the water rates, water quality and disconnection, these should be referred to BPW as the contracted water supply provider for the developer’s subdivision projects and its regulatory agency, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

Tacay said as part of their commitment to bring safe, affordable and sustainable water to their buyers, 8990 requested for water supply certifications for its subdivision projects from the Davao City Water District (DCWD), wherein the latter certified that its existing facilities could not yet sustain the required water supply and pressure in these residential areas.

Tacay said DCWD subsequently refused to take over their water supply system because it could not keep up with their housing development schedules and instead recommended that 8990 make the turn over for its operation and maintenance once its expansion and water development projects have become operational.

Tacay also stated that 8990 HDC as a real estate developer is not authorized or capable of operating the water supply systems of its subdivision projects and since the developer is required to provide the buyers with a sufficient water supply, the developer was constrained to turn over the administration, maintenance and operation of the water supply systems to BPW, which is a duly licensed and capable operators.

She cited that DCWD is welcome to lay out its own water supply system in their subdivision projects and provide its services to the residents who are interested in becoming its own concessionaires and in the same way that DCWD supplies water to Deca Homes Davao in Barangay Cabantian, Buhangin District and Deca Homes Resort Residences Davao Phase 1 and 2 plus parts of Phase 3 and 4 in Brgy Tugbok, Davao City.