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Tubig! (Updated With Troops Being Called Out)

July 22, 2010

This late 18th century poem by Englishman Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, is apropos:

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

I agree the imagery is overblown given that we’re on land and ‘only’ the service area of Maynilad that experiencing a supply shortage of the life-giving liquid.

We can split hairs all day about whether the shortage warrants an emergency declaration (the technicality here being is that if an emergency is declared, local government units in the affected areas are authorized to tap contingency fund and implement actions to mitigate public suffering).

The fact is at least three million families are in misery over the situation cannot be scoffed at nor glossed over.

Maynilad is telling us that given the decrepit state of it pipes up to 53% of the water it gets from Angat Dam is lost to leakage. That’s 890 million liters a day. Maynilad admits this worsens the current 30 percent shortage because the dam’s water level remains below normal.

Now factor in National Power Corporation’s Pontius Pilate stance that its release of excess water from the reservoir at the height of typhoon Ondoy has aggravated the water shortage in Metro Manila.

Rodolfo German, general manager of the Angat River Hydro Electric Power Plant:

Why blame us, we are just following protocols. We have to do it to protect the integrity of the dam and its structures.

Whichever way you wanna look at it, one thing sure is it’s not the heavens people are cursing.

It’s the government’s perceived inadequate action this early in the new dispensation.



In a display of being pro-active, the government is deploying soldiers and civilian personnel to prevent riots over the undeclared water crisis in the capital region.

This comes even as we are being told that “the worst is over” in so far as the precarious water level of Angat dam has been quenched, in a manner of speaking, thanks to the recent rains buttressed by cloud seeding operations.

I’m hoping that this introduction of “war bodies” clothed in fsatigues and sporting guns does not send the wrong message.

The President SONA will also see thousands of police in anti-riot gear standing between militant protesters and the President.

Let’s not be OA (over acting) here okay?

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