GM Dominong firmly behind Lagawe water project

LAGAWE, IFUGAO – – Ifugao Global Entrepreneurs Multi-purpose Cooperative (IGEMCO) general manager Godfrey Dominong said recently that he stand ready to support the water supply improvement project of Poblacion North Barangay Council in the capital town of Lagawe.
In a recent meeting with barangay council officials at the barangay hall, Dominong pointed out the “urgency” of the planned project of replacing old pipelines in the village.
He said villagers deserved the “best water connections” in order to ensure faster and safer delivery of water in their households.
In an exclusive interview with the ZigZag Weekly, Dominong noted that his action to help the village in a private capacity is an answer to the mounting clamor of Poblacion North folks for support and assistance of the private sector and all others.
This is the biggest collaborative effort in the history of Poblacion North to resolve the water supply line problem. Hand-in-hand with the private sector, the project shall ensure that leaking pipes is a thing of the past.
Something like this partnership would have been the next best thing to happen here, but this certainly occurs once in a blue moon, so to speak.
For his part, Punong Barangay Ericson Inhumang said the proposed project shall be most helpful to his constituents.
“The barangay council is doing everything for the implementation of key programs, projects and activities designed to improve conditions at the barangay. It is always mindful of the people’s well-being at all times. The Poblacion North Barangay Council takes consideration of the welfare of the people, most especially the poor, in major undertakings as this one,” he stressed.
Cost estimate of the project is Php 500,000.
Inhumang thanked the government for its unflinching support and assistance to the barangay as he cited the continuing cooperation between them to spur Poblacion North’s development, and to attain good governance and improvement in delivery of quality public services.
Despite its strategic location, villagers lamented the poor conditions of their water pipelines, which they said may affect their health.
“Opportunities abound in account of this development with the help being extended by concerned individuals such as Mr. Godfrey Dominong,” Inhumang said.
That is why there is an urgent need for greater cooperation between the private and public sectors.
The project is seen as vital for the barangay to catch up with modern times in terms of better water distribution system.
The barangay council is mandated to promote the welfare of the people in the grassroots level. Currently, the revitalized Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or youth council) is an active partner of the Sangguniang Barangay (barangay council or village council) in advancing the overall development program in the nation’s more than 40,000 villages.
“A well-maintained water pipeline system is essential for a well-protected people,” SK chairperson Krizelle Lunag said.
“A longstanding partner of the barangay council, we truly value the opportunity of collaborating with kind-hearted individuals in the private sector in promoting the health of our people,” kagawad (councilman) Emerson Lunag said.
The barangay council is also composed of councilmen Evelyn Buhong, Irene Nabanalan, Peter Calingayan, Rhoderick Casticimo, Petra Pablo and Darwin Bintudan. Barangay secretary is Loydan Babayongan. Barangay treasurer is Divina Anna Kinakin.
It comes now to light that the functions of the barangay nutrition scholar (BNS), barangay health workers (BHWs) and tanods (watchmen) are also affected by this project. The BNS is Veronica Adviento. BHWs are Ermelinda Baguilat, Rosita Balayo, Marieta Calingayan, Victorina Habbiling, Imelda Kampung, Amy Kimayong and Margarita Paco. Watchmen include Florante Bidnong, Samuel Bidnong, Mariano Bulanno, William Bunoy, Nelson Kimayong, Ian Francis Lumiano and Francis Pablo.
The old and still-unattended Ifugao General Hospital (IGH) is situated in Poblacion North. The village has seven puroks and 400 households.
The greatest obstacle of the people in the village and three other adjacent ones in the town proper is the fact that even during the rainy or wet season there is an acute shortage of water.
Hundreds of towns, which for years used to experience similar problem, now use modern pipes. There are 1,490 municipalities in the Philippines. Water district offices have hired consultants to upgrade their services.
Dominong, also president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Ifugao Chapter, noted that he and his wife have a lot of friends in Poblacion North. He resides in the nearby barangay Poblacion East.
At the local development council (LDC), both the IGEMCO and PCCI-Ifugao Chapter are accredited nongovernment organizations (NGOs). As such, Dominong plays an integral role in implementing, monitoring and evaluating government projects.
Dominong was asked by the ZigZag Weekly, whether he could also provide support to the other 19 villages in Lagawe. “Absolutely,” he said but didn’t elaborate.
He, however, is calling on all village chieftains to achieve a breakthrough in public-private partnership (PPP) program, keeping in mind that collaborative works in the barangay is just as important as the “bayanihan” spirit of the Filipino people, and barangay council officials must be engaged in every stage of development.
In recent times, the government has stated its preference to first build a project, and bid out the operations and maintenance contracts to the private sector. It was pointed out that this would lower the cost of public services because there would be no heavy investments for the private sector to recover.
Lagawe is a fourth-class town. Most of the people are still poor.
Dominong’s position took center stage when he batted for a differentiated approach to handling this problem. He is for the maintenance of the water pipeline network rehabilitation component of the project as it also addresses the improvement of the health and socio-economic status of more than 2,000 villagers.
He further views the project as key to improving the villagers’ self-esteem and dignity in the long run.
Dominong also contributed to the successful launch of various pro-poor projects in the town’s villages.
This early, there is an outpouring of congratulations to Mr. Dominong’s contributions to the barangay. In turn, he expressed his gratitude for the heartwarming response.
The meeting also tackled the need to have better water quality and availability. A representative of the town’s water district office also attended. Information on a reservoir was also shared.
What is that the people don’t want to have in their lives? They don’t want to go on with their lives with less than reliable water supply.
The truth of the matter is that the villagers have long understood the magnitude of the problem. People simply cannot survive without water to drink, to grow the food they eat and to perform most other fundamental necessities.
The meeting showed barangay council officials had made progress in finally addressing this longstanding problem. According to Punong Barangay Inhumang, the project will be implemented in 2019. That’s a huge improvement.
This is indeed a clear sign of good governance in the barangay. They must have been doing something right in the past several weeks. Whatever it was, they need to keep doing more of it. In order to sustain these gains, the barangay should consolidate its gains this year.
With the barangay council’s relentless pursuit of continuous improvement, its officials are a testament to well-dedicated, highly-motivated and empowered unit that serve as a key factor in propelling the village’s development.
A number of projects have been attributed to Inhumang, even during his tenure as kagawad. He did a good job in the past.
To be sure, Poblacion North and the other 19 villages, as well as Ifugao’s ten other towns are in need of water treatment and distribution system to support most especially high-density areas.
Majority of the province’s 176 villages are unserved by a water district entity and have a problem on potable water. Ifugao is one of the poorest provinces in the country.
Likewise, transmission and distribution pipes are badly needed. The problem is that technology backfires when people don’t understand how it works. It is crucial in the operational reforms that a water district office is seriously pursuing, especially on the matter of curbing cases of pilferage and pipes being busted by ill-disciplined folks.
It is important for villagers- young and old alike, to know how these new water pipeline systems apply to them and at the same time, how to maintain compliance of regulations. Indeed, these regulations are constantly evolving that’s why re-educating the hard-headed folks is vital to avoid occurrence of the same problems. Diligently learning the ways of protecting and maintaining the new pipes through an extensive information education campaign (IEC) is part of knowing well the rules of the game. **By Anthony A. Araos

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