TUBA, Benguet (July 24) — The local town council here, opposed the petition for amendment of the water permit previously issued to the Baguio Water District (BWD) by the National Water Regulatory Board (NWRB).
In a resolution passed last week, the local government unit opposed BWD’s petition to amend Water Permit 13147 from domestic water to power purposes. Said water permit covers the Asin water sources flowing towards Barangay Nangalisan which provide needed water to run the Asin mini-hydro turbines.
Tuba water bodies converge into the Tuba River or more commonly known as the Asin River. Major tributaries include the Kangas and Irisan rivers and two creeks, locally referred to as Bukan and Burol, according to Engr. Tony Basingan, supervisor at the Asin hydroelectric plant in Nangalisan.
“These contribute water pressure to run the hydros,” Basingan told Nordis in an interview.
Tuba councilors said the proposed amendment to the water permit is prejudicial to the right of the town’s indigenous peoples who they said, must have priority right over that of the water utility. They also contend that Tuba, not Baguio City, has jurisdiction over the said water sources.
Councilor Jerome Palaoag pointed out that the council does not only oppose the amendment but the water permit application of BWD. He said the councilors want the people of Tuba to benefit from the water source and at the same time, the council is contemplating on running its own hydroelectric power plant.
The BWD water permit reportedly lapsed in 2006. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS