P25-M project to bring potable water to Villareal, Samar-A A +A
Monday, August 20, 2012
RESIDENTS of Villareal town in Samar may have forgotten that tap water once flowed into their homes. After all, it has been decades since residents enjoyed water from their faucets instead of needing to fetch in pails and other plastic containers from deep wells.
However, all these could change in a few months as the municipality last August 15, 2012 broke ground for a P25-million water project that stands to benefit about 14,000 people or 60 percent of its population.
The project is a soft loan from the Municipal Development Fund Office (MDFO) under the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG-Eastern Visayas regional Director Pedro A. Noval Jr., the guest of honor, lauded municipal officials led by Mayor Reynato R. Latorre for persistently pursuing the project after years of exploring alternatives for a viable water source.
“This project will be one of your legacies for the generations to come. With a dependable supply of safe drinking water, there will be less water-borne diseases and you will have more time spent for other aspects of life instead of needing to fetch water from communal faucets,” said Director Noval.
On the other hand, Mayor Latorre said the municipality shall form a cooperative to run the facility. He is confident there would be no more incidents of kaingin (slash and burn farming) that decreased the flow at the water source (Milagrosa Falls in Barangay San Andres), as well as of pipes being vandalized for irrigation purposes, which led to the decay of the town’s original water system.
In his speech, Mayor Latorre narrated how the town was finally able to secure an extension of the loan offering. The municipality’s Memorandum of Agreement with DOF was about to lapse when he approached MDFO on June 28, 2012.
The DOF official agreed, on the condition that the town complies with the DILG’s Full Disclosure Policy and the standards of the Seal of Good Housekeeping, consistent with this administration’s campaign to institutionalize transparency and accountability.
Fortunately, the LGU was able to show such certification from the DILG Regional Office, and so his request was granted.
The LGU has commissioned Houston Construction for the project, which includes upgrading of the existing water intake box at the site, installation of a water treatment facility, construction of a ground reservoir, and laying down of transmission and distribution pipes.
The project is to be completed by February 2013. Fourteen barangays will be set up with Level 3 (household level) water systems, with Level 2 (communal faucets) also being installed in five of these barangays to accommodate those without water connections.
Six barangays in the town proper are covered by this water project. These are Central, Mercado, Miramar, Soledad, Tayud and Villarosa. Residents in eight rural barangays can avail of the new water system including Cambaguio, Canmucat, Mahayag, Pacoyoy, Pangpang, San Andres, San Roque and Ulayan.
The interest rate under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Fund has been reduced to six percent from the original eight percent to enable easier payback.
Nationwide, about 600 LGUs are classified as “waterless” or those where most of its population does not have a reliable supply of safe drinking water.
To help address this problem, DILG provides advocacy and technical assistance in document preparation and fund sourcing through the MDG Fund and Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig) programs. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)