Gov’t plans to put up permanent water supply system in Tacloban relocation sites

TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 6 (PNA) – Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman said the government is looking for sustainable solutions to address water shortage problem in relocation sites.

The Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) met on Saturday in this city to discuss details of the project that aims to provide permanent water supply to northern villages, where thousands of families in danger zones will be transferred.

“We, in the national government, through Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, the head of NEDA (National Economic Development Authority), we are making plans and will have dialogue with Asian Development Bank so that they will fund this improvement of your water district in Tacloban,” she told reporters.

Soliman subscribed to the recommendations of Mayor Alfred Romualdez to provide permanent solutions to water shortage problem in relocation sites instead of temporary solutions.

“It is important for all of you to know that we would like to make this a beautiful place, and to make it better than what you had in the past. So that this may be a key to a much more progressive life in Tacloban,” she added.

The official admitted that it takes time to complete the project, prompting the DSWD to install water tanks in Cabalawan village, utilizing USD 300,000 donations from Nigerian government.

The water system set up at the relocation site built by the National Housing Authority (NHA), is a 10 water storage tanks that has a capacity of 5,000 liters each. It is an on-site water source development, water filtration and rain storage device.

On Oct. 29, Soliman and Nigerian Ambassador Buba Tekune led the inauguration ceremonies for the Water Supply Support at the Ridgeview Park in Cabalawan village, north of this city.

The project is a joint undertaking by the Philippine government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), International Organization Migration (IOM), Philippine Red Cross and other partners.

Ridgeview Park is one of the permanent housing resettlement areas of the national government through the NHA for the Yolanda survivors who are temporarily housed at the transitional shelters and bunkhouses.

According to Tekune, the donation is a gift and an offer of friendship from the people of Nigeria to Filipinos. Tekune, was also with Senior Counselor Murtala Jimoh of the Embassy of Nigeria.

Soliman said that this was just a medium term solution to the water problem in the Ridgeview Park. The government has on-going development and construction at Ridgeview Park 1 & 2, Diana, and Sofia resettlement areas, all situated in the northern part of the city.

“The next step would be the provision of electricity in the area. This will be an early Christmas gift to the nearly a hundred families recently transferred to the site,” said Restituto Macuto, DWD assistant regional director for operations.

Soliman thanked Tekune and the Nigerian people for the friendship and solidarity with the super typhoon Yolanda survivors.

In addition, Soliman told the residents of Ridgeview Park what Tekune has shared to her on the plane on the way from Manila to Tacloban.

“He has seen many nations that have been devastated by typhoons, and has cited an island in the Caribbean as an example, which was flattened by a huge storm. After two years, one still sees evidences that a huge storm has passed through.”

“Here, if he wasn’t told that Tacloban was the ground zero of Yolanda, he would not think that a super typhoon hit this part of the Philippines. It’s as if he cannot believe that Tacloban was flattened by Haiyan, as well, when we arrived in Tacloban on Nov. 9, 2013. I would like to congratulate you all for your industriousness, for your oneness, Tacloban is indeed developing and growing, ” Soliman said. Vicky C. Arnaiz/PNA