R-12 to get P45M from nat’l gov’t for water systems

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 December) — The national government has allocated some P45 million for the expansion and development of potable water systems in nine municipalities in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region.

Buagas Sulaik, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 12 director, said the initiative is part of the continuing implementation of the P1.5-billion Salintubig (Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat) Program in the region.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Sulaik said the program, which is being implemented by the DILG, Department of Health and the National Anti-Poverty Commission, mainly intends to provide water supply systems for the identified “waterless” municipalities, barangays and rural health units in the region.

He said the Salintubig program covers two thematic areas: poorest/waterless barangays with high incidence of water-borne diseases and rural health centers without access to safe water.

In Region 12, Sulaik said the identified beneficiaries were the municipalities of Banisilan, Aleosan, Alamada, Arakan, President Roxas and Mlang in North Cotabato; Alabel and Mapalatan in Sarangani; and, Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.

Under the program, the municipalities of Banisilan and President Roxas will receive a grant of P7 million each for the expansion of their Levels II and III water systems, respectively.

The program allotted P7 million each for the construction of the upper Mingading Level II water system in Aleosan, rehabilitation of the water system in Poblacion to Doroluman in Arakan and the  development of the Talili spring in Lake Sebu.

Mlang and Alabel will receive P3 million each for the expansion of their Level III water systems while Malapatan will also get P3 million for the construction, upgrading and expansion of Barangay Poblacion’s Level III water system.

The Alamada Provincial Community Hospital in Alamada town will receive a grant of P1 million for the installation of water supply facilities.

Sulaik said the agency’s Office of the Project Development Services completed last month the water source validation for the area-beneficiaries.

He said the validation activities covered site inspections for the identified water sources, analysis of spring water discharge to determine if it can cater to the target population and meeting with local officials to discuss the results of the water tests and landownership of the water source.

“They tackled the status and updates of the beneficiaries’ compliance to documentary requirements such as the detailed engineering design, feasibility study and status of their respective action plans,” he said.

Sulaik said that for discrepancies observed on the documentary requirements, the validation team provided technical support and assistance to the concerned local government officials as well as water and sanitation personnel to enable them to come up with improved and more comprehensive reports.

“Some of the beneficiaries already submitted their documentary requirements to the DILG central office and were now waiting for the commencement of their respective projects,” he said.

Sulaik said the projects were expected to be “physically completed” in 2013. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)