P143.7M allotted for water systems in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 June) — Twenty six local government units (LGUs) in Region 12 are set to receive P143.7 million in grants for the construction of potable water systems and related projects.

Reynaldo Bungubung, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional director, said the grants comprise the approved allocation for the region this year under the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig sa Lahat (Salintubig) component of the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Program (GPBP).

He said beneficiaries are LGUs in the region that were prioritized for the implementation for fiscal year 2014 of Salintubig, a project under the GPBP being handled by the DILG.

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 Salintubig program, which is supported by the 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 three 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.

Bungubung said the project aims to increase access to water services of waterless communities, reduce the incidence of water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, improve access of the poor to sanitation services and sustain operations of water supply and sanitation projects that it supports.

Its implementing arms are the Office of Project Development Service (OPDS) of the DILG central office and regional offices and recipient LGUs, he said.

To be qualified for the Salintubig program under the GPBP, Bungubung said LGUs must have the technical capabilities to implement its component projects.

He said they should also be recipients of the Seal of Good Housekeeping under the 2012 assessment, have made substantial progress in the implementation of the Public Financial Management Plan as certified by the Department of Budget and Management regional office and must have no unliquidated funds to the participating agency.

Under the program, the beneficiaries may receive grants of P1 million to P7 million, depending on their approved project proposals.

In the last two years, a total of 33 LGUs in the region have received grants for the implementation of Salintubig projects. (MindaNews)