By LITO RULONA,
RESIDENTS of Baungon, Bukidnon are up in arms over the lack of potable water despite the fact that their town has been the source of bulk water that supplies this city and nearby towns.
Barangay San Vicente chairman Nelson Babion, however, brushed off the complaints by saying the lack of potable water in their area is due to the dry-spell brought by the El Niño phenomenon that hit the province earlier.
“The source of drinking water supplied to Barangay Poblacion in Baungon to Barangay Nicdao is coming from our barangay and the source of supply of the bulk water for Cagayan de Oro is coming from Bubunawan river diha sa may ubos nga bahin,” Babion said.
Babion dismissed reports that they supply drinking water to Rio Verde as the among the factor that some barangays in the municipality of Baungon suffered scarcity of potable drinking supply.
“Ako kanang barugan bisan asa kay kami ang source sa tubig sa tibuok lungsod,” he explained.
He said at the height of El Niño they checked within their source of water and found that it was reduced to more than 50 percent of supply in their water mark.
“Tulo kana ka falls ang among source and we place intake box for the pipe but during the time of El Niño halos dili gyud makapuno ang tubig. One third of the normal supply of water were gone during that time,” Babion pointed out.
Earlier, Atty. Ernie Palanan, acting-Agusan del Norte Provincial Comelec officer and acting as spokesperson of the residents, wrote a letter addressed to Baungon mayor Pedro Alvarez on water supply complaint of his constituents.
Palanan said it is now a public knowledge that the residents of Baungon have been suffering for so long because of lack of potable water which has worsened in the recent days.
Residents claimed that for several years now, they have to fetch water in distant and hard to access spring water, man-made wells, and most often are forced to use unsafe water from irrigation canal from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
A check last Tuesday showed that majority of the residents from Barangay Poblacion still do not have access to potable water.
However, Babion said complaints have been persistent because an upgrading project of Baungon Municipal Water System is still on-going which has affected the town’s water supply.
“Pero mobalik ra pud kay kamulo pa sila og repair. We expect that all problems would be addressed by September. Dili plastado ang dagan sa tubig sa pagka-karon labi na gyud sa Barangay Nicdao,” Babion said.