Feature: Tinoto's water of hope
By Russtum G. Pelima, MA Ed
Maasim, Sarangani (June 29) -- Gloria Loyao is now in the late years of her life. At seventy-three, she could still remember the worst of her life with her family due to lack of potable water in their community.
"Since I was born here, I don't remember we had enough water for laundry, even for cooking and cleaning the house. It's like 70 years we have been wanting for accessible clean water," Gloria said.
Gloria was the one putting on the sleighs to guests and local officials attending the inauguration of Tinoto's first ever water system the community can call their own donated by Conal Holdings Corporation.
"Our priority of providing you this assistance is health which we agree upon with your local officials here," Conal Holdings Corporation vice president for business and development Joseph Nocos said.
"We will also build classrooms in your community because we understand how important education is for you and the future of your children," Nocos added.
The benevolent Abdulbali families in the village donated a one-hectare land where the P1.2 million water system site was built. A 5-horsepower submersible pump was installed for its 55,000-liter reservoir.
According to provincial water supply superintendent Ludy Bonghayo, the water source is 70 feet below the ground somewhere in the hillsides of Tinoto.
"Many attempts were made before," Governor Migs Dominguez said. "But this time, I ordered our provincial engineering not to stop looking for a water source sufficient enough to provide the community."
Dominguez had earlier asked Conal Holdings to help the community with a water system as immediate assistance to the village.
"We thank our private partners for making this a reality. With clean water, we can assure the health and well-being of our people."
"I love Tinoto," Dominguez said despite losing significant votes in this community in the past two elections.
Dominguez said the youth can now go to high school here. Two integrated high schools, Seguil and Kamanga, were opened this year.
Conal Holdings also opened the Center for Technical Excellence in Kamanga to offer skills trainings for the youth.
Dominguez said the Tinoto water system is the only Level-3 water system among the province's remote villages.
Tinoto community is dependent on fishing for livelihood. Families here bought containers of water from nearby barangay Seguil at P7 per container. "With the new water system, the cost of water is only 40-50 centavos per container," barangay captain Abdul Wahani said.
Wahani said the barangay council will immediately organize an association to manage the water system.
Local officials also plan to develop the site into a unique water park soon.
Mayor-elect Art Lawa, a homegrown Blaan native of the place has explained how Tinoto got its name.
"Tinoto is a corrupted name from its native origin, T'noto, meaning'sip'," he said. "It's because even long ago, you can hardly find fresh water here to drink. The natives drink water from very small holes at the surface of the limestone, and they have to sip the water from those holes, and so they named the place." (Sarangani Information Office) [top]