SAFE DRINKING WATER. Members of Pag-Iribang Parauma asin Parasira kan Del Pilar (PPAPDEL), an agrarian reform beneficiary organization in Camarines Sur, get access to potable water through a newly turned over water and sanitation project of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol. Aside from the project, PPAPDEL members received a seven-day hands-on training on sanitation projects. (Photo courtesy of DAR-5/Geri Buensalida)

LEGAZPI CITY – At least 100 farming families or 500 individuals in Barangay Del Pilar, Garchitorena town in Camarines Sur now have access to safe drinking water after the Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol (DAR-5) turned over water and sanitation (WATSAN) projects to an agrarian reform beneficiary organization (ARBO).

Geri Buensalida, DAR-5 spokesperson, on Tuesday said the project is part of DAR’s community-managed potable water, sanitation, and health (CPWASH) program and was turned over early this month.

“The Pag-Iribang Parauma asin Parasira kan Del Pilar (PPAPDEL) was granted three units of bio-sand filters and iron-removal filters that will provide clean water and adequate and potable sanitation services to the ARBO members,” Buensalida said in a text message.

In a statement, DAR Camarines Sur Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Bequillo said the project worth PHP130,000 was implemented in partnership with the municipality of Garchitorena and the ARBO.

"The residents of the barangay, especially the agrarian reform beneficiaries depend solely on deep wells (ogsob), without filters, as a source of water for drinking and other daily household needs. They either use a clean rag or cloth to filter water from the deep well and in some instances, the water is boiled and then cooled down before drinking. Though they are used to this kind of filtration system, health risks such as acquiring water-borne diseases are still inevitable," he said.

Aside from the project, PPAPDEL members, mostly women, received a seven-day hands-on training on WATSAN.

Allan Billy Bensing, PPAPDEL president, said the facility is a big help not only to the agrarian reform beneficiaries but also to the whole community of Del Pilar.

“When the water from PPAPDEL's 'ogsob' was filtered, it tasted like the water sold at water refilling stations," he said.

"Dakulang pasasalamat mi sa DAR sa pagtao kaining CPWASH Project, ta saro talaga kami sa nangangaipo kaini, ta an samong pigkukuanan inumon na tubig iyo sana an ogsob (We are very thankful to DAR for giving us this CPWASH project. We really needed this, because our only source of water before is the deep well),” Bensing said.

Buensalida said the training provided also offers an opportunity to develop para-engineers within the agrarian reform community to replicate or expand these facilities in nearby barangays.

"An samong nanudan sa pa-training na ini kan DAR, dai mi sasadirihon. Dai lang inin sa Del Pilar, kundi ipapaabot mi pa sa kataraid ming lugar. (What we have learned in this training will not be kept to ourselves, we will also share this with our neighboring communities),” Bensing added. (PNA)