More towns, villages in Region 12 to get potable water project

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 June) – Twenty-four more “waterless” municipalities and villages in Region 12 are set to receive financial grants for the construction and development of potable water systems under the national government’s Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat or Salintubig program.

Reynaldo Bungubung, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 12 director, said the 24 recipients were among the “waterless” localities or local government units (LGUs) in the region that qualified for the Salintubig program’s allocation for this year.

He said the agency has already completed the validation process for 10 LGU-recipients while those of the remaining 14 are still ongoing.

“The initial 50 percent of the funding allocation for the validated recipients will be released upon submission of the required documents,” Bungubung said in a statement.

The official said the DILG-12’s Salintubig team earlier launched a series of monitoring and evaluation activities for the program’s beneficiaries for 2012 and 2013.

He said the team has so far visited the municipalities of Glan, Malapatan, Alabel, Malungon, Maitum, Kiamba and Maasim in Sarangani; Banisilan, President Roxas, Midsayap and Pigcawayan in North Cotabato; and Cotabato City.

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

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 land ownership of the water source, a DILG-12 statement said.

“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,” it said.

Under the program’s 2012 component, nine LGUs have qualified and received financial grants ranging from P1 million to P7 million or a total of P45 million.

The recipients were the municipalities of Banisilan, Aleosan, Alamada, Arakan, President Roxas and Mlang in North Cotabato; Alabel and Malapatan in Sarangani; and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.

Bungubung said the water system projects of eight of the nine LGU-recipients are currently in the construction stages.

He said five of the recipients recently received the full of their approved allocations.

The Salintubig 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.

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

The program was launched two years ago in response to the national government’s goal of providing potable water to the entire country based on the targets defined in the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016, Millennium Development Goals, the Philippine Water Supply Sector Roadmap and the Philippine Sustainable Sanitation Roadmap.