By NITZ ARANCON
THE Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) has estimated that it would be able to collect over P600 thousand a month on behalf of city hall if the city council approves a proposed ordinance that seeks to impose ecological services fees on the city’s water consumers.
Engr. Bienvenido Batar Jr., COWD general manager, told the city council’s committees on urban and planning development, finance, and environment during a joint meeting on Tuesday that the city consumes some 80 thousand cubic meters of treated water daily.
Based on the proposed ordinance being pushed by Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya and the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Development Council, a fee of 25 centavos per cubic meter would be imposed on residential water consumers, and 50 centavos per cubic meter for commercial and industrial water consumers. The proposal seeks to make COWD as city hall’s collection agent.
Dr. Hilly Quiaoit, a COWD director and executive director of the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Development Council, said the watershed areas of the city covers 59 thousand hectares extending up to the towns of Libona, Baungon and Talakag in Bukidnon province.
Quiaoit said these watershed areas need to be protected lest these lose their water deposits.
Unless this is done, she said, Cagayan de Oro’s underground water sources would dry up.
Quiaoit said other cities like Bacolod have started to collect similar fees from water consumers.