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Puerto Galera Waterworks System
Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
The inadequate supply of potable water within the coastal and mountainous town or Puerto Galera has been a constant difficulty in the municipality. It also posed a major problem among small and medium-scale establishments in meeting the demands of a growing tourism industry. When it embarked on a municipality-led water system, installing water pipes on a hilly terrain was indeed a tough job. But with a determined leadership and the ability to secure assistance from local residents and frorn a financing institution, the availability of a clean and potable water supply was ensured in the locality. Water-borne diseases were minimized if not totally eliminated. Likewise, supply of potable water contributed to the upkeep of livelihood, agriculture and commerce. As of December 1998, 10 out of 13 barangays or more than 2000 consumers benefited from the project. The LGU even constructed a submerged pipe traversing the depths of Puerto Galera bay for an island barangay.
To sustain the flow of water, the municipality integrated an environmental management plan to maintain and rehabilitate the watershed area. It involved the participation of the lraya Mangyans as caretakers as they are the direct stewards of upland resources. In recognition of their invaluable support, the Sangguniang Bayan has passed a resolution that will allocate 5% of the total municipality income for development programs intended for the Mangyans. Local groups are regularly doing forest rehabilitation and monitoring activities within the watershed areas of Mt. Malasimbo and Dimayuga. The waterworks system is of a gravitational spring type and does not necessitate constant oiling, tuning and maintenance. To minimize the cost, the LGU provides the materials to set up the water system like pipes and cement and the local residents take care of the labor and maintenance. To determine the accurate amount of consumption, households and commercial establishments have water meters. This program is a proof of the political will of the LGU to serve its people, to protect the environment and to bring revenues to the municipality.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1999 Galing Pook Awards.
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