A new water treatment facility was inaugurated in Tacloban City on November 8 as part of the anniversary activities of Typhoon Yolanda which struck the region and displaced tens of thousands from their homes in 2013.

The facility is expected to service Yolanda survivors in at least 15 resettlement areas in the northern part of the city. It features filtration systems and distribution pumps that ensure potable water is distributed securely to communities in the area. Residents of St. Francis Village, an NHA housing project in Tacloban North, were the initial beneficiaries of the project.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad led the ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the facility along with Tacloban City Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez, OCD VIII Regional Director Henry M. Torres, NEDA VIII OIC-Regional Director Meylene C. Rosales, Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) General Manager Pastor A. Homeres, and officials of Mactan Rock Industries and TGV Builders Water Treatment.

A total of fourteen thousand (14,000) water meters were also turned over to LMWD for distribution to recipient communities during the activity. Previously, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), through the OCD, turned over P42 million in unused Yolanda rehabilitation funds to LMWD to buy water meters for the resettlement areas in Tacloban City.

“We are happy that the Yolanda-donated funds given by OCD to LMWD had been put to good use for the people of the Yolanda-affected communities,” Usec Jalad said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Romualdez called on the beneficiary residents of St. Francis Village to take care of the water supply system. He also clarified that beneficiaries will still pay for the service like regular customers in other areas of the City.

The project answers the need for a reliable water supply in resettlement areas in Tacloban City. The Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII has long pushed for the completion of the project through the coordination of concerned agencies, monitoring of the project through regular visits conducted by teams from the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), an affiliate committee of the Council, and the passage of resolutions to fast-track the completion of the project.

Among the resolutions passed is RDC VIII Resolution No. 8-E, Series of 2018, “Endorsing the Request of the City Government of Tacloban to the Office of the President to Fast-Track the Implementation of the Tacloban North Water Supply Project Through Downloading of Funds to Tacloban City Government/Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD)” which facilitated the transfer of funds from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to LMWD, allowing the agency to immediately implement the project.

Article by:  Knulp Aseo/Evangeline Paran, NEDA VIII
Photos by:  Evangeline M. Paran