MASANTOL -- At least four villages from the left bank portion of this municipality will soon have an improved system for potable water distribution through the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) “Saling Tubig” program.
Barangays Sagrada, Balibago, Bagang and Alauli, all situated along the Pampanga Delta Dike, were chosen as pilot beneficiaries of the program which is designed to provide safe and sustainable water supply to identified areas in the country.
Also known as “Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat,” the program launched in 2011 is being implemented by DILG in partnership with the Department of Health and National Anti-Poverty Commission to target 455 waterless municipalities, barangays, health centers, and resettlement sites all over Philippines.
According to DILG Central Office Water Supply and Management Office head Jayson Buñag, the said four villages are included in the list of “waterless” communities as they are not yet reached by local water supply providers.
“We conducted initial inspection and we saw the situation of the communities. Based on findings, Barangay Sagrada can possibly accommodate the water pumping station which will then distribute water to the community, as well as the three adjacent barangays,” Buñag explained.
Buñag said that based on the area’s orientation, the inspecting team recommended that water may be sourced out from a deep well, wherein the local government will drill on the ground where a pumping motor will be installed.
He added that the DILG will allot at least P2 million for each barangay, or a total of P8 million for the municipality, for the installation and operation of the said program.
“DILG’s part will be on the source development as well as the other materials for the distribution but it will be the local government who will implement and facilitate the whole project,” Buñag added.
Buñag added that while all expenses in the project are shouldered by the government, the DILG still recommends that residents pay for their water consumption and collections will be used as a maintenance fund.
Former vice mayor and Barangay Sagrada resident Marcelo Lacap said that identified village-beneficiaries will gain from Saling Tubig program as most households in the area still rely on water pumps.
During times of flooding, one of the problems they face is the sourcing of clean and potable water since water pumps are also flooded and not every family can afford to have one, Lacap said.
“As of now, we are still not covered by any water supply provider. We still use water pumps or the traditional ‘pag-iigib’ or fetching of water. When this project materializes, we are expecting that it will ease our problems on regular and clean supply of water,” he said.