POTABLE WATER. Members of Pamilyang Malahutayong Mag-uuma sa Tambac Association in Barangay Tambac, Tulunan, North Cotabato, witness the turnover of a water project from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that gives them safe drinking water. DAR said Thursday (Nov. 3, 2022) the project will benefit 70 households, including neighboring areas. (Photo courtesy of DAR-North Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY – The perennial problem of iron-contaminated water supply in a rice farming community in North Cotabato has been addressed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through its Community-Managed Potable Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (CPWASH) project.

Anchored on the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III to uplift the lives of the farmers in the countryside, the CPWASH project was provided to “Pamilyang Malahutayong Mag-uuma sa Tambac (PAMAMATA) Association” of Tambac village in Tulunan, a rice-producing town.
 
PAMAMATA president Valentin Tabiolo, said Thursday the project will not only benefit 70 households who are association members but neighboring districts in the barangay could also access the water supply facility.
 
“We are happy for the CPWASH project from DAR because we can now drink water that is safe and free from unwanted rusty smell,” Tabiolo said in the vernacular.
 
The PHP88,000 CPWASH facilities include the provision of a rainwater collector, iron removal filter, biosand filter, which is a low-cost technology to make the water supply safe to drink, and biogas digester to produce fire for cooking.
 
To ensure the smooth operation of the project, DAR also trained 10 para-engineers that will serve as technical experts in the project replication to increase the adoption of low-cost water and sanitation technology in the community.
 
Charish Paña, the provincial agrarian reform program officer (PARPO ll), underscored the project's importance in providing safe drinking water to community residents.
 
“We hope that you will manage this project in such a way that you could turn this into an income-generating enterprise for your association,” Paña said.
 
PARPO I officer-in-charge Emelita Mayol also challenged the beneficiaries to replicate and sustain the project.
 
“I also encourage you to strengthen your association in preparation for additional and bigger projects of the DAR soon,” she said. (PNA)