COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/28 September) – Residents of two towns in Maguindanao will benefit from level 2 water system projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways–Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the local government units.
Last week, Mayor Abdul Mohaimen Dipatuan, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and DPWH-ARMM Secretary Don Mustapha Loong signed a memorandum of agreement allocating P5.42 million for the construction of a level 2 water system in Bacolod-Kalawi town.
Dipatuan said the facility will save time for school children who have to pass through hills to get water from a lake and then sterilize it to make it potable.
Hataman said the project will tap the town’s rainforest as water source.
Another water system will be constructed in Datu Sangki town with a budget of P9 million based on a MOA signed by Mayor Mariam Mangudadatu with the regional government and DPWH.
At present, Mangudadatu said the residents buy drinking water from mobile truck sellers or get it from an open pit source in Liguasan Marsh.
“We have to tap mountain sources of water to give clean and potable water to the local residents. Most of them are poor and it’s hard for them to spend more on drinking water or get water from unsafe sources from anopen shallow pit near the marsh,” she said.
In Maguindanao, water peddling is common in Parang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Salibo, Datu Unsay, Datu Piang and nearby towns due to lack of potable water systems despite having bountiful sources.
Loong said that aside from water systems, they have allocated P10.103 billion from the agency’s 2015 funds for the rehabilitation, construction and repair of roads, bridges, sea ports and other infrastructures projects.
But he noted that local suppliers could not meet the demand for construction materials needed for the projects like cement and steel.
Last week, Loong and Hataman had simultaneous MOA signing sessions with different mayors of ARMM for the infrastructure projects in their areas.
These include the concreting of a six-kilometer road between Barangay Kapatawan Small, Isabela City and Barangay Bohe Nange, Lamitan City with an appropriation of P72 million, and a 4.5-kilometer road between Barangay Bohe Nange and Barangay Sta. Clara in Lamitan City with a budget of P54 million pesos.
In Bongao, Tawi-tawi, P56 million was appropriated for the construction of access roads and development of Bongao Peak Eco-Tourism.
Bongao Mayor Jasper Que said they will not stop developing their town as an ecotourism destination that boasts of white sand islets and rich marine resources.
Meanwhile, the protection dike in Tukanalipao River in Mamasapano town will also be built to protect farmlands from the seasonal overflowing of Kabulnan River. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)