The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has allocated a total of P159.53 million for various potable water supply projects in Western Visayas as part of the government’s poverty alleviation program.
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas said the budget allocation and subsequent implementation of these projects demonstrate the Philippine government’s commitment to pursue the United Nations – Millennium Development Goals, particularly Target 7.C of Goal No. 7, which aims to halve by 2015 the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
In the Philippines, access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation remains a challenge, especially in far-flung areas in Western Visayas.
Roxas said he had ordered the DILG’s Region VI Office to fast-track the implementation of the projects for Western Visayas, one of the areas severely devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda late last year.
According to Roxas, total of P133.53 million has been allotted by the DILG as a portion of its Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) for 56 municipalities in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. Under the GPBP, the beneficiaries include a total of 15 municipalities in Negros Occidental, 13 municipalities in Iloilo, 4 in Guimaras, 7 in Capiz, 11 in Antique and 6 in Aklan.
Another P26 million has been earmarked for three municipalities in Negros Occidental and Aklan through the DILG’s Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (Salintubig) program. Beneficiaries for this include two towns in Negros Occidental, Hinigaran and Candoni, and Altavas in Aklan.
Roxas said that feasibility studies for the projects are simultaneously being conducted under the supervision of the DILG.
Lack of potable drinking water has been identified as a major concern by local government units (LGUs) and was hence given priority by the government under the two projects being implemented by the DILG.
“Kasalukuyan na pong kumikilos ang DILG at nakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga lokal na pamahalaan para higit na mapabilis ang pagbuo ng mga proyektong patubig na ito. Sa pakikipagtulungan ng inyong halal na opisyal sa mga lalawigan at bayan sa Western Visayas, magkakaroon din tayo ng malinis at ligtas na tubig-inumin para sa lahat,” he said.
“Malapit na pong dumating ang panahon na hindi na po natin kakailanganing lumakad ng malayo, umakyat ng bundok, bumaba at tumawid ng ilog, o tumungo sa bayan at bumili, para po sa ating pang-araw araw na pangangailangan sa tubig,” he said.
The implementation of various potable water supply projects for the Western Visayas Region started in 2012.
Under the SalinTubig Program for 2012, a total of P88 million was allocated by the government for various municipalities within Western Visayas.
In 2013, the budget allocation under SalinTubig Program was doubled to P151 million, plus P39.425 million from the GPBP.#