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CALABARZON

Real puts a stake on modernized P228.9 water supply system


By JOHN A. BELLO

REAL, QUEZON - The municipal government here has put a huge stake on a modernized P228.9 million water supply system project that would benefit more than half of this town’s over 35,000 population living in 5 central barangays of the town poblacion.

“This water system project has long been overdue in our town since our water system has been destroyed by calamity way back in Nov. 2004 and the project has been in the pipeline since the administration of my father sometime in 2009,” said Mayor Diana Abigail Diestro-Aquino after the Sangguniang Panglalawigan (SP) of Quezon has approved on Sept. 25 the municipal loan ordinance authorizing the mayor to contract a P206 million loan with the Development Bank of the Phil. (DBP)

Earlier, Mayor Diestro-Aquino and several municipal government officials of Real including members of the Sang. Bayan (SB) led by her father, ex-mayor and now vice mayor and SB presiding officer Joel Amando Diestro, have attended a joint SP committee hearing led by board member Ferdinand ‘Bong’ Talabong which resulted to the approval of the first ever huge bank loan of the town.

The first term young mayor, also formerly a provincial board member from 2002 to 2007 representing the province’ youth as the Sang. Kabataan provincial federation president, stressed that the municipal government, as certified by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the Dept. of Finance (DOF), has a loan capacity of up to P290,354,000 and a paying capacity annually of P29.9 million.

The town’s Internal Revenue Allotment for this year is P155,387,949 and its 20% development fund is over P31 million.

Mayor Diestro said the town’s water supply system project, which has a total cost of P228,965,000.00, would mean direct connection of pipelines to houses in barangays Poblacion 1, Poblacion 61, Ungos, Cawayan and Kiloloron, new water treatment, new ground reservoir to insure supply of clean water ‘24/7’ even during dry season, new transmission and distribution pipelines to insure passage of treated water and installation of new water meter.

The complete and total breakdown cost of the project: feasibility study, P11M; basic construction, P206,158,231.96; construction and supervision, P6,806,768.04; and land acquisition, P5M.

The new water system would have a water supply capacity of up to 63,676 cu.m. daily and the water consumer would incur P25 per cubic meter. A cubic meter of water is equivalent to 1,000 liters or 5 drums. A family of 5 has an average water consumption of about 700 liters.

A feasibility study revealed that connection for the new water supply system of Real starting in full operation in 2019 would mean P250 for the first 10 cubic meters compared to other town such as Atimonan with P285.65 last year and Infanta with P248 as of 2015 for the same volume of water for residential and institutional connection.

For commercial connections, it would be P500 for Real; P571.30 for Atimonan and P496 for Infanta for the same volume of water and referring to the same years.

Diestro-Aquino narrated that in 2009 during her father’s administration, a feasibility study and detailed engineering design for a mini-hydro power generating project has been submitted to the municipal council but it was hit by several delays and snags.

In 2010 the approval of the mini-hydro power generating project was included in the municipal investment program; the following year the former mayor has asked the SB to give him authority to negotiate with any financial institution to implement the project but in the following year the council was unable to pass a borrowing ordinance as the municipal government did not reach the borrowing capacity required by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the DOF-BLGF.

In 2014 the water system project was included in the investment program for 2015. The former mayor has asked assistance from the Phil. Rural Development Project of the Dept. of Agriculture for Level II water system as an alternative but the SB was unable to pass the required resolution due to lack of number authorizing the mayor to contract the loan.

When the new lady mayor took over the municipal government in July last year, she requested the SB to make a study of a cost-effective water system project. Together with the municipal council, she talked with Engr. Manuel Vergel of Vergel 3 Consultancy for a revised detailed engineering for the water supply system project made in 2009. In Aug. last year, the SB passed a resolution giving the new mayor the authority to enter into an agreement with any financial institution to implement the water system project according to Vergel 3 consultancy study.

To get the loan from the DBP, the municipal government proceeded from Aug. last year up to July this year to secure the required documents such as the following: Commision on Audit annual audit certificate showing no adverse finding against the municipal government, audited financial statement for last 3 yrs with no adverse finding, authenticated copy of the resolution or ordinance authorizing the local chief executive to negotiate and contract a loan in behalf of the local government unit, Dept. of Interior and Local Government Seal of Good Housekeeping, project feasibility study of potable water system and detailed engineering design of the project.

Diestro-Aquino said that the new water supply system will be operated by a waterworks supervising regulation officer with 4 assisting bureaus and starting 2023, it is expected to earn an income of over P5 million which will be used for financial assistance to sick people, free medicines, free scholarship program and for rehabilitation of the town’s public roads, buildings and water system.

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