Disaster-struck Albay gets helping hand from metro water concessionaires

In light of the health crisis being experienced in evacuation centers in Albay due to lack of safe potable water, Metro Manila water concessionaires, led by regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), have deployed three units of mobile treatment plants to the province currently being affected by the recent eruption of Mayon Volcano.

Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. sent out one mobile treatment plant (MTP) each, along with another one from MWSS. The MTP’s were arrived in Albay last week.

These MTP’s were specifically deployed to Districts 1, 2, and 3, with the following coverage: Maynilad-Tabaco, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo; Manila Water-Legazpi, Daraga, Camalig; and MWSS-Guinobatan, Ligao.

Diarrhea cases in the evacuation centers have risen in recent days as a result of shortage of potable water, reports said.

Just recently, Mayon Volcano Crisis Committee Chair, lawyer Francis Tolentino confirmed that the evacuation of affected residents may be prolonged as continued volcanic activity is still being observed in Mayon.

“As evacuees continue to be away from their homes, we are hoping that the mobile treatment plants will be able to help ease their discomfort and prevent more of them from getting ill by providing much-needed safe potable water,” said MWSS Administrator PDDG Reynaldo Velasco.

“We commend Manila Water for the timely deployment of MTPs which could avert water borne diseases or outbreak in evacuation centers,” Velasco added.

Manila Water’s MTP has the capability of treating and converting any type of raw water — river water, flood water, even saltwater — into potable drinking water.

The treatment facility, which is being operated by a 13-man team from Manila Water, produces about 3,000 liters of drinking water per hour and can operate optimally up to 12 hours a day. That’s some 36,000 liters of much-needed potable water.

Manila Water has been sending its MTP to disaster-stricken areas even outside of Metro Manila to augment potable water supply in evacuation centers. It was deployed to Bantayan Island in Cebu after Typhoon Yolanda hit several provinces in the Visayas in 2013.

Kathy Kenny


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