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Prank calls hound BFP on water rationing

Not even a looming water crisis in Metro Manila has deterred prank callers from victimizing government firefighters tapped to help ration water to affected areas. Bureau of Fire Protection Metro Manila chief Senior Superintendent Pablito Cordeta said this prompted them to coordinate only with village officials. "Ang pumapasok minsan nanloloko rin kaya mas maganda galing sa barangay chairman ang request para sigurado tayong lehitimo ang pangangailangan nila (We have been receiving prank calls on water distribution. That is why we prefer to deal with the village chairmen so we can be sure the request is legitimate)," Cordeta said in an interview on dwIZ radio. The BFP is helping concessionaires of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System conduct water rationing for areas affected by a water shortage. Cordeta said he has left it to his district directors to receive and act on calls for water rationing. On the other hand, he said such coordination will make it easier for firefighters to get in and out of an area easily. "Nandoon agad may containers na pagdating ng bumbero doon, efficient agad sila. Di kasi pwede mag-standby ang fire truck sa isang lugar, ang ating priority [ay] pag-respond sa sunog (If it is coordinated, at least people will have their containers ready and we can get in and out quickly. We have to remember our priority is still firefighting)," he said. Security for tankers Early Tuesday, residents started lining up before dawn to wait for a water concessionaire to distribute their water rations. In Caloocan City, radio dzBB's Allan Gatus reported residents in Barangays 160, 161 and 163 started lining up as early as 5 a.m. to wait for Maynilad's tankers. Maynilad, which services Metro Manila's west sector, had scheduled the distribution of water rations as early as 6 a.m. Several residents were seen bringing pails of water to the queues. Each family is allowed up to four pails, the report said. The queues were orderly, with residents paying P10 for the maintenance of a local well. On the other hand, Maynilad hired extra security guards to guard its tankers should residents start pushing and shoving for water. — RSJ, GMANews.TV