Culandanum Community to Benefit from Water Refilling Station Funded by RTN

Around 700 households in Barangay Culandanum in Bataraza, Palawan are set to benefit from a million-peso water refilling station funded by a mining company, which will address the community's need for potable water.

Community Organizer Vannesa Apilan of the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) said the community requested funding for the project in the amount of P1 million from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) 2021 budget.

It is a part of the RTNMC's SDMP Livelihood and Enterprise Development initiative, the grand opening of which is slated for March 23.

“Karamihan din doon ay ganiyan ang business, maraming kumuha ng gallon-gallon, doon kumukuha sa maliliit na tindahan— nakikita nila na mas kailangan nila ng malinis na tubig. Malinis naman ang tubig galing sa water system pero kailangan pa rin para sa mga bata,” she said.

The project took two months to complete on the border of Bataraza and Rizal municipalities.

Edmundo Oghayon, Barangay captain of Culandanum, claimed the initiative is necessary in light of the barangay's history of diarrhea outbreaks in 2011.

Previously, 90 patients were admitted to RTNFI hospital due to diarrhea. Additionally, multiple outbreaks were documented since the 1990s as a result of contaminated water and inadequate sanitation.

The barangay council intends to use the proceeds from its revenue-generated projects to supplement existing funds for community needs.

“Gusto naming ma-ensure na ang aming tubig ay malinis inumin. Pangalawa, sa tagal naming naging beneficiary ng SDMP ng dalawang company, naisip naming magkaroon ng economic enterprise para may ma-generate na income pa rin,” he said.

Even though the price per gallon of water has not been determined yet, Oghayon emphasized that it will be cheaper and more accessible than water from other refilling stations.

“The barangay council aims to distribute the water gallons through small businesses in order to reach out to outlying communities that lack access to clean water,” he also said.

The barangay council will operate the facility, which will be managed by trained barangay workers.

“Ang plano ng council ay hindi sila maaapakan (other water refilling stations) sa pagnenegosyo ng tubig. Ang plano ay ibabagsak namin sa mga tindahan at constituents at mas mababa lang ang bilihan,” he said.

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