REPORT ON THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIONS UNDERTAKEN BY CWD TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES RELATED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Like most government agencies in the country, the water district was not spared of the contagious effects of the dreaded Covid-19 virus. Two of its employees tested positive for the virus- one in September 2020 and another in early January 2021. As a result, ten employees had to undergo swabbing procedures and out of the ten, five had to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Fortunately, all of the swab results yielded negative and the local city health office allowed 5 employees to resume their office functions while the other five were advised to undergo and complete the 14-day quarantine as a matter of procedure. 

The good thing was that even before it happened, health and safety measures were already in place and the water district has already been strictly implementing the following health protocols:

  • Wearing of Face Mask
  • Observance of Social Distancing
  • Handwashing (Wi/ Improvised Dispenser)
  • Provision of alcohol to every Division and in the office entrance
  • Disinfection, especially on commonly touched areas
  • Installation of signages/reminders

The effects could have been worse if the above-stated preparations were not made. Moreover, other activities were undertaken to ensure that the impact of the pandemic will either be avoided or at least mitigated, such as:

  • Provision of protection for the employees (use of plastic shield in counters and complaints desk)

PEP talk every Monday morning to remind the employees of the risks involved relative to the Covid pandemic

  • Implementation of a 4-day work week in the 4th quarter of 2020 to reduce congestion of employees in the office
  • Provision of transportation assistance to employees without personal service vehicle
  • Isolation of employees classified as direct or secondary contact with an infected person
  • Daily monitoring of the abovementioned isolated employees
  • Creation of chat group exclusive for employees wherein they can air their concerns
  • Identification of separate toilets for employees and customers
  • Establishment of fixed entrance and exit points
  • Provision of hand soaps and alcohol
  • Daily monitoring of temperature and temperature reading upon entry to the office
  • Non-acceptance/processing of application for new service connection on Mondays during the month of December 2020
  • Attendance to an online seminar entitled Taking Care of Mental Health    
  • Creation of a functional health and safety committee and the formulation of the CWD Covid-19 Crisis Management Protocols

On the financial aspect, the Water District initiated and designed a payment scheme for the benefit of its customers. Thus, concessionaires with overdue bills of 3-4 months may apply for a staggered payment scheme to settle their accounts. CWD also implemented the Non-imposition of a penalty and the suspension of disconnection activities during the period of ECQ.

Further, to ensure availability and sustainability of supply during the pandemic the water district undertook the following actions:

  • Pep Talk every Monday to boost the morale of the Operations and Personnel
  • Daily monitoring of production and NRW
  • Putting more efforts on NRW reduction
  • Addition of personnel for quick response
  • Purchase of additional service vehicles for prompt action
  • On going drilling project

As a result of these efforts, the water district saw a significant reduction in its NRW data, from 18%-20% in the first half of 2020 down to 14%-16% in the second half of that year.

While effects of the virus have caused so much stress and anxiety to the employees, and on the other hand news that vaccines are available and under way, it is hoped that this report adequately explains, so far, the actions undertaken by the water district to address the issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prepared by:

ATTY. RA SOLOMON A. ENRIQUEZ

Operations and Maintenance Division