Gov't to upgrade water districts
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (3 February) -- The government is keeping its goal to provide safe water supply to all barangays by 2010.
To attain said goal of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) will spend about P868 million to systems for non-operational water districts in the country.
According to LWUA Administrator Orlando Hondrade in the agency's online news, LWUA is expected to spend P868 million for water infrastructure development projects to activate 94 currently non-operational water districts.
With the operationalization of said water systems, some 246,000 people in the respective areas would be provided piped potable drinking water supply within the year.
Hondrade pointed out that funds for said projects are included in the P1.5 Billion Locally Funded Investment Program under the CY 2009 Budget of the Department of Health (DOH).
He said that the projects for the non-operational water districts would primarily be the construction of their municipal-level water supply systems which would cost an average of about P9 million each.
Works, he said, would include the harnessing and development of surface or groundwater sources, construction of pumping and storage or impounding facilities with provision for water treatment; laying of transmission and distribution pipelines and the installation of individual household metered service connections.
In Western Visayas alone, the target non-operational water districts include San Remigio in Antique, Sibunag in Guimaras, Guimbal, Lemery, San Dionisio and Tagbauan all in Iloilo, and Isabela and San Enrique in Negros Occidental.
Meanwhile, LWUA Board Chairman Prospero. Pichay, Jr. revealed that another P447 million has been earmarked under the same DOH-LWUA locally funded investment program for the construction of potable water systems for the so-called waterless municipalities within the area of responsibility of LWUA.
He stressed that the amount is on top of the P500 million fund from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the Presidential Priority Program on Water (P3W), P69 million of which have already been released to LWUA for other waterless municipalities as earlier identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission or NAPC.
In July last year, President Arroyo has placed LWUA as an attached agency under the DOH in line with the government's program of improving public health through the adequate provision of safe drinking water supply and sanitation facilities. (PIA) [top]