GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 May) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to open the country’s first-ever community-owned water purifying station in a remote village in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.
Gemma Rivera, DSWD Region 12 assistant director, said Monday a water purifying station project was recently completed in Barangay D. Lotilla in Isulan town through the national government’s flagship anti-poverty program Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).
She said it was so far the first water purifying station project that was implemented in any part of the country under the Kalahi-CIDSS since it started in 2003.
The official said the project, which was expected to begin full operations by the end of the month or early June, will mainly benefit 765 households within the project area.
Rivera said the agency and community stakeholders spent a total of P846,638 for the implementation of the project, which was seen to end the decades of suffering of villagers from insufficient potable water supply.
“The residents were left with no choice but spend a portion of their meager income to buy potable drinking water to avoid consuming contaminated water and eventually get sick because of them,” she said in a statement.
Such situation was among the factors that drove most members of the community to live in dire poverty these past years, she said.
Aside from answering the community health concerns due to unsafe drinking water, Rivera said the project was expected to generate additional income for local residents.
She said it will specifically generate opportunities in terms of employment and local entrepreneurship as well as increase the village government’s revenues.
Kalahi-CIDSS forms part of the three-pronged anti-poverty convergence programs of the national government that are implemented by the DSWD.
Dubbed “Tatsulok,” the initiative includes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps and Sustainable Livelihood Program.
Under the Kalahi-CIDSS, poor communities are capacitated to analyze their own problems, manage, plan, and implement their identified project to answer their pressing needs.
In Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region, the project was able to help build various community infrastructure projects such as school buildings, bridges, health stations, water systems, day care centers, roads, post-harvest facilities, and other common services.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)