Antequera gets P23.5M DILG grant for waterworks revamp

By Rey Anthony Chiu | 08:32 PM March 05, 2022

Super typhoon Odette may have severely affected Antequera’s local enterprise in its waterworks system, but the calamity may have brought in something good for its much needed repair and rehabilitation.

The town has got a grant for P23.5 million from the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat (SALINTUBIG) project, which will not just enhance the capacity of Antequera Waterworks System and improve its water service, it will also increase local income from water consumers.

Mayor Lilioso Nunag, who was guest resource during the recent Presidential Communications Operations Office Network Briefing News shared how the town’s Waterworks System failed when the typhoon cut the power supplying the town’s electricity needs, and how trees toppled and uprooted by the storm’s fierce winds slit lines open and cut tap water connections, making the town’s revenue generator out and the community practically without reliable potable water supply.

Super typhoon Odette’s ferocious gusts blew houses roofs off, broke power-lines like matchsticks and dealt a crippling blow to struggling communities like Antequera.

Still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, Antequera was slowly chating its getting up economically before the storm derailed and brought their plans back to square one.

Already crumpled by the restricted and closed global import markets for their baskets and hand-woven crafts, Antequera never expected the December 16 typhoon to be that bad.

Prior to the landfall, we sent 1496 families to evacuation centers, schools, barangay halls and concrete houses for their safety. That way, relief can also come in an organized system, he added.

After holding through the storm, the town’s rapid needs assessment and needs analysis bared the following disturbing details: 370 houses were totally damaged, 2878 houses were partially damaged houses, as to the National Housing Authority which did a post calamity survey.

The storm also damaged public infrastructure in government buildings, public utilities and road networks, and agriculture.

There was no electricity to start with as the power lines were toppled, fallen trees and debris blocking water lines and closing road networks, compromising communication and hampering rescue and relief operations.

As incident commander, I asked our police officers, firemen, rescue and health personnel as well as local officials to initiate clearing operations so rescue and relief could start, the mayor said.

Without electricity to power our water systems, we started to look at the immediate operation of the ruined Antequera Waterworks System, considering the community’s critical need for potable water.

With a P500,000 donation from the Metro Manila Development Authority, coursed through the governor, we purchased three 10 KVA generators for the town’s pumping units, and this was backed up by three more smaller generators from the Provincial Government and the LGU owned standby generators, we were able to resume the waterworks operations and with broken connections we have to commence water rationing using water tanks and fire trucks.

For a month, Antequera had also the services of a water treatment facility care of the Metropolitan waterworks and Sewerage Systems, the mayor continued.

The mayor however admitted, that they could not just rely on such palliative solution

For the town now, making its waterworks system more resilient with the Salintubig project is the next call of the times. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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