As one of the highlights of its 20th anniversary, Manila Water recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Tubig Para Sa Barangay (TPSB) project for Purok 7 Bayview in Lupang Arenda, Taytay, Rizal. The Php 4 million project will provide individual water connections to over 450 households in the community.
The groundbreaking event likewise celebrated the partnerships between various agencies that made the project possible. Delivering his keynote message as representative of President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco, Jr. said that this project signifies more than just a partnership between public and private sectors. “It is a convergence of the initiatives of different government agencies and departments. Definitely there is a need for us to implement projects that mean the betterment of our people in the urban poor community,” Evasco added. The Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP), chaired by Atty. James Mark Terry Ridon, played a vital role in the realization of this project, along with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and its General Manager Joey Medina.
For his part, Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand Dela Cruz echoed Evasco’s message on the effectiveness of public-private partnership in delivering public service. “Ang magandang serbisyo at pagsasamahan ay posible sa pagtutulungan ng iba’t ibang pangkat sa ating komunidad (Through the cooperation of various sectors in the community, we are able to achieve great service and cooperation). There’s no better way to celebrate Manila Water’s 20th anniversary than being with our partners. Kayo po ang nagbigay-buhay sa aming proyekto (You have made this project possible),” Dela Cruz shared.
“Kami po ay patuloy na magtatrabaho kasama ang MWSS, national agencies, at lahat ng local government units upang masiguro ang pagpapatuloy ng adhikain na ang mga mahihirap ay magkaroon ng tubig (We will continue to work with the MWSS, national agencies and all local government units to ensure that we address the clamor for good water service in marginalized communities),” he added.
Bannering the theme, “Celebration of the Successful Partnership between Manila Water and the Lupang Arenda Community,” the event also highlighted the significance of the peaceful cooperation between Muslims and Christians within the Lupang Arenda community. This is particularly manifest within the Lupang Arenda Muslim-Christian Cooperative (LAMCO), which is supported by Manila Water’s Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) program, wherein the cooperative’s products, such as water meter protectors and project signage and barriers, are incorporated within the company’s supply chain.
For his part, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Ret. Gen. Reynaldo Velasco underscored the importance of this cooperation which promotes peace, being former Philippine National Police Regional Commander in the ARMM. “Narito tayo hindi lamang sa pagtupad ng adhikain ng MWSS at ng Manila Water, kundi sa isang natatanging pagsasama upang pagbutihin ang buhay ng Pilipino, lalo na’t ito ay para sa isang komunidad na nagsasama ang Muslim at Kristiyano (We are here not only to fulfill the shared mission of MWSS and Manila Water, but also to promote the uplifting of Filipino lives, especially in a community where there is Muslim-Christian cooperation),” Velasco added.
The beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the various sectors that supported their call for individual water service connections. “Ang laban namin na magkatubig ay nagkatotoo. Maraming salamat sa Manila Water at sa lahat ng tumulong sa amin. Nakaliligo na kami nang anuman oras. Sa araw na ito, ang kagalakan sa Purok 7 ay umaapaw (Today, Purok 7 is overjoyed because our fight to have individual water service is fulfilled. We thank all those who helped, we can now take a bath when we want),” said Agapito ‘Pete’ Perez, Chairman of the Board of Purok 7 Bayview Homeowners Association.
The TPSB project in Lupang Arenda aims to cater the underserved areas of Purok 7 in Lupang Arenda, a community located along the shoreline of Laguna Lake. Almost 3,000 individuals, presently served through bulk account, will benefit via clustered connections. The project commenced on August 15 and will be completed by October 31, 2017, and is expected to bring down exorbitant water rates being charged by local water providers.
Launched in 1998, Tubig Para Sa Barangay (Water for the Community) is Manila Water’s award-winning flagship sustainability program which has benefited over 1.8 million low-income residents in the East Zone of Metro Manila and Rizal Province. In 2016, the program was named as winner of the Unilever Global Development Award in the Annual Responsible Business Awards of the Business in the Community network of the United Kingdom.