More and more people in the countryside now have access to safe and clean water as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has administered a total of 2,059 SALINTUBIG (Sagana at Ligtas naTubig para sa Lahat) projects across 15 regions in the country amounting to P6.674 billion.
DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero said this is aside from the 850 potable water supply projects under the DILG’s Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (ADM) - Provision of Potable Water Programs in 2017 amounting to P3.699 billion.
“Safe and clean water is now accessible to majority of our countrymen and we are glad that we in the DILG are playing a key role in this effort,” said Panadero.
He said the DILG also appreciates the help and support of Regional Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Hubs that are mentoring and coaching recipient communities and local government units (LGUs) in managing and sustaining their potable water and sanitation projects better.
Just recently, representatives of various State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Water Districts, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Private Institutions which make up the Regional WATSAN Hubs completed the training course on the Sustainable Delivery of Integrated Safe Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (iWaSH) Programs, Systems and Facilities for SALINTUBIG and ADM-Provision of Potable Water Programs.
In grateful recognition of their valuable contribution in providing capacity development and technical skills enhancement for iWaSH programs and for successfully completing the training course, each member-institution of the 15 Regional WATSAN Hubs was awarded with a plaque of appreciation during the final day of the said training course.
Panadero thanked the Regional WATSAN Hubs and highlighted their unique position in helping people identify their needs with regards to water and sanitation.
“Kung minsan, nakikita natin iyong mga numero diyan. Kami rin dito lahat sa DILG, we look at numbers. How many towns have we covered? How many communities? But of course, we know behind those numbers are faces. Behind those numbers are names. Behind those numbers are families that now benefit from potable water thanks to your help. Hindi nila makukuha iyon kung hindi natin pinagtulung-tulungan lahat,” he said.
“I hope that as we move forward, we continue to do this because we want to bring about a better future to our communities, better health, at mabigyan naman sila ng access sa napakahalagang commodity – iyong tubig,” he added.
UNICEF WASH Chief Louise Maule said that if we can find ways to build on our strengths, the R/Hubs really have the potential to become centers for excellence and to be a valuable resource for integrated WASH program planning and monitoring.
“If the R/Hubs can work together as a network and have mechanisms for sharing their skills and expertise, then we can make the best use of the available capacities and resources for the Philippines as a whole,” Maule said.
UNICEF has been one of DILG’s partners in the delivery of iWASH projects through the Joint Programme ‘Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor’ (MDG-F 1919) and the current Joint Programme on Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDGF) – Promoting Water and Sanitation Access, Integrity, Empowerment, Rights and Resiliency (Pro-WATER).