DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas yesterday handed over P8.5 million in checks for various anti-poverty projects benefitting 5 municipalities in the Province of Bataan.
These include water supply and flood control projects in Abucay; a water supply project in Bagac; an evacuation center in Dinalupihan; an evacuation center in Samal; and a water supply project in Pilar. Local officials of the beneficiary-municipalities received the checks during simple rites held at the Barangay Hall of Payangan in the town of Dinalupihan.
Roxas was in Bataan to visit some of the completed projects to ensure that they were successfully implemented and are being properly maintained by the beneficiaries.
The P3-million Level II (communal faucet) Water Project in Barangay Payangan was implemented under the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG) program, from which 270 families, including 30 Aeta families living in the community, now get their drinking water.
The project involved the construction of a concrete water reservoir, which required the laying of pipes from the water source—a natural spring in Barangay San Pablo some 3 kilometers away—to the houses in the community, giving the beneficiaries access to safe and potable water. Completed in July 2013 it is now being maintained by the project beneficiaries. A total of 270 households are now connected to the SALINTUBIG pipes, and water rationing is being conducted for proper distribution.
From 2012 to 2014, the DILG has implemented 8 SALINTUBIG projects in Region 3, two of which are in Bataan. One of the projects is ongoing in Mariveles.
SALINTUBIG is part of Aquino administration’s commitment to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) signed by over 180 heads of state in 2000. One of the targets of the MDGs is to reduce by half the number of people with no access to water and sanitation by 2015.
In addition, the SALINTUBIG program aims to provide safe drinking water supply to waterless communities in remote areas and reduce the risk of water-borne diseases in “poorest of the poor areas.”
“Dati, kailangan kumuha ng tubig sa malayo para sa inumin at panggamit araw araw. Dahil sa proyekto, nakatipid kami at hindi na nahihirapan dahil may tubig na sa lugar namin,” Olivia Clemente, an Aeta and tribal representative in the barangay said.
She said people in the community do not have the means or resources to implement such an important project and had to fetch water from a stream some 3 kilometers away or a natural spring elsewhere. “Sa eskwelahan kumukuha din ng tubig ang mga tao. Wala naman din pera pambili ng mineral water, kaya minsan, may nagkakasakit,” she added.
Barangay officials also used to share the same concern until the SALINTUBIG project was completed in their area. “Dati, kailangan mo pa maghanap ng makukunan ng tubig. Maghahakot ka mula sa baba paakyat sa lugar namin. Kung hindi naman, magpaigib ka at magbayad P10 isang balde,” said Barangay Payangan Chairman Ramir S. Fernando. “Today, each household is charged P30 a month for the maintenance of the water reservoir,” he added.