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Presidents Report 2
Water Update

30 January 2006

MEMO FOR   :      The Association  Presidents and Homeowners
FROM             :      Celso L. Reyes - President
SUBJECT        :      Water Update
======================================================

Last 20 January 2006, together with a representative of Inner Circle Homeowners’ Association (ICHA), we met with National Water Resources Board (NWRB) Director Ramon B. Alikpala. This is part of our continuing effort to expedite the search for solutions to our concerns regarding the water problem.

We served notice to the NWRB that henceforth, UBFHAI should be the sole organization with which to deal concerning our homeowners’ water problem, it being the umbrella organization duly recognized in a decision by the Supreme Court.

UBFHAI, together with ICHA, MHFDS, Southern Miguel Osorio, BFHEVA, HARP, ENSHA, 4-S, TROPICAL SOUTH EXECUTIVE, AND BFCRAB, had earlier filed its opposition to the grant of extension of CPC/franchise to the developer (BF Homes Inc.), because of their inability to provide our homeowners with water. Our opposition is also relative to the HLURB decision dated 27 September 2005 (ordering the developer to provide us with water failing which, they should turn over the operation of the system to us).

Director Alikpala assured us that the developer shall not be granted a franchise renewal unless they give us a clear picture as to their plans for the residents and homeowners. He stressed that water supply and delivery is “not the core business of the developer in the first place.”

The NWRB had in December informed the developer of the problem of the expired franchise, and of the opposition of the homeowners to the renewal thereof. A hearing was initially scheduled that same month, but due to the developer’s non-appearance, an inspection of the PWCC’s facilities was scheduled for 9 February 2006. UBFHAI and representatives from ICHA were invited to join said inspection.

The NWRB is concerned about the water problem of UBFHAI, being such a basic, vital need. It has received reports of unabated and unregulated distribution of water to homeowners by water tankers. Alikpala stressed that it is the NWRB’s job to regulate the source, safety, potability, and price of their water.

The following are the salient points of our discussion:

UBFHAI shall file a motion to execute the HLURB decision on the turn-over by BFHI of the system and delivery of water to UBFHAI pending appeal.

Should the petition be granted, a CPC/franchise may be granted to UBFHAI in order to enable UBFHAI to legally deliver water to the homeowners and residents either via tanker or thru the existing distribution system.

The possibility of developing new wells within the enclaves (in which case, a franchise will be granted to the enclave/ association) provided the property on which the well/s will be located is titled. Water may then be pumped or trucked to members at pre-arranged fees. (Fees are regulated by a price cap provided for in the franchise.)

Writing MWSS/MAYNILAD requesting either entity to supply water to BF Homes. The NWRB will support this move as well. NWRB is willing to endorse this, if necessary.

Upon HLURB approval of the petition, UBFHAI may exercise the option to manage the water system or turn it over to a competent entity. Expertise in this area was discussed briefly.

This is the latest update on your board’s efforts since the HLURB decided against the developer in our favour. Inasmuch as BFHI appealed the decision, we have continued to explore other options. It will be recalled that in 2001, MAYNILAD used to service part of our neighbourhood, only to cut off the service because the developer, again, refused to pay its arrears of about P5 million. They also incurred about P41 million in arrears to Meralco, which, again, resulted in the cessation of our water service. And lately, it has been reported that the BFHI/PWCC is raising the rates from the present P18/cu.m. to P40/cu.m. This is the last straw that has broken the proverbial camel’s back.

We will not stop until we get the ever-elusive developer to deliver to us the basic needs of our community. And we will continue to work on this until we achieve the ultimate goal – the implementation of the HLURB order turning the system over to us.

 

Celso L. Reyes
President

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