7 Iloilo towns priority of El Niño aid

By Jezza Nepomoceno

ILOILO – Villages in seven towns which were placed under state of calamity due to El Niño will be the first to avail of the Jetmatic hand pumps from provincial government, according to Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

About 271 Jetmatic hand pump sets are expected to be distributed to households in severely affected villages in Dueñas, Sta. Barbara, Calinog, Estancia, Dingle, Bingawan and Miagao.“The distribution will start as soon as the contract is awarded to the most qualified contractor,” announced Defensor in a press conference held at his office on Monday (May 23).

Earlier, the Bids and Award Committee disqualified Conquest, a local firm that submitted the lowest bid for P1.9-million water pump project, due to its failure to meet other requirements during the post-qualification evaluation.

Top Most, the second lowest bidder, will get the contract instead. The Notice of Award from BAC has yet to be approved by Defensor but the implementing guidelines for the distribution and installation of water pumps was reviewed and approved last May 18.

The bidding for P5-million additional Jetmatic hand pumps, on the other hand, is still in progress.

Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo said the water pumps will help mitigate the economic, health and social impacts of El Niño, restore damaged water source facilities and ensure sufficient supply of drinking water.

One hand pump set is estimated to benefit an average of 15 households. If the province can purchase 1,721 units, the project can reach more or less 25,815 households based on a study conducted by JICA on Provincial Water and Sanitation Project in 2000.

Toledo also added that once the recipients are identified, they will provide a counterpart materials which will consist of three bags of cement, half kilo of nails, four pieces of 35 board feet of lumber, among others.

The villages are also required to put-up a counterpart that will cover the labor and construction material component of the well development, installation of the hand pumps and suction pipes, concreting of pump pedestal and base slab.

To ensure its sustainability, the project will be monitored by the Monitoring and Evaluation Section of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Secretariat and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program Team.


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