Mon09012014

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Legazpi supplier ‘no show’ in UP water-sampling test

LEGAZPI CITY—The controversial Philhydro water firm accused by health authorities here of supplying dirty drinking water here for five years now has snubbed the test sampling of its water scheduled at the University of the Philippines (UP) Natural Science and Research Institute.

As this developed, former Mayor and now City Administrator Noel Rosal said the city government remains at the mercy of the delinquent Philhydro and its client Legazpi Water District (LCWD), adding that despite consumers’ pressures to close their operation, the city is helpless due to the absence of an alternative source of water for the community.

Rosal told media representatives that the much-awaited water- sampling test proposed by the city to be conducted by the UP research institute last Monday did not materialize because no Philhydro nor LCWD representative was present during the scheduled water testing.

He said the city recommended the sampling test by the UP research institute to clear once and for all the issue about the water’s potability so that the public would not doubt the city government had been pressured to issue a business permit to the company.

Rosal said it appeared the Philhydro-LCWD tandem was not interested to solve the issue over its controversial water found dirty last year in an investigation conducted by the city council jointly with the Department of Health (DOH).

The scheduled water sampling at Philhydro facilities was to be witnessed by representatives from the city, the two firms, the DOH and non-governmental organizations. The water sample was supposed to have been carried directly to UP within six hours via a morning flight onboard a Philippine Airlines plane.

A few weeks ago, Philhydro reportedly submitted a result of the test sample done by the local health office which cleared the potability issue in the company’s bid to obtain a business permit. The city had repeatedly denied issuing the firm a business permit following its findings that the company supplies dirty water to the city during investigations it conducted early last year. Rosal said his office had proposed for another testing of the water sample, this time by the UP research institute to clear once and for all the issue of potability and to erase doubts from angry consumers.

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