In about a year’s time, Barangay Indahag will finally have its own Level III water system delivering potable water straight to the homes of its long-suffering residents.
JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation broke ground at the site of its proposed water treatment plant Thursday morning led by Luis Ramon P. Lorenzo, Jr., chairman of the LLJ Water Resources Corporation, one of three firms undertaking the project.
“It’s wonderful to see how we’ve all come together-Bayanihan spirit. Four presidents told me if there’s one lesson you learned if you serve in government is you cook it like the bibingka-from one top, from below, from the side, so that everything is fresh,” the former agriculture secretary noted.
“It took time and perseverance which is why I am pleasantly and happily surprised It is time to really understand that the future of Mindanao is precisely because we are working together. I am happy to be part of the team for our beloved Mayor Oca of Cagayan de Oro, and everyone who’s represented here.”
Joining Lorenzo during the ceremony was Indahag Punong Barangay Jocelyn N. Dahino, City Councilor & Majority Floor Leader Ian Mark Q. Nacaya representing Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, Land Bank of the Philippines AVP/CDO Lending Center Head Jimmy P. Arco, and Joel A. Baldelovar, Director for Business Development of JE Hydro.
Also present to show their support for the project were City Councilors Roger D. Abaday, Maria Lourdes S, Gaane, and Jay Roa Pascual.
City Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, M.D., Chair of the Health and Health Insurance Committee of the 19th City Council, emphasized the importance of sufficient water supply especially during a pandemic. She said that basic health protocols mandate frequent handwashing to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
“With the current resurgence in Metro Manila of the COVID-19 virus, this groundbreaking ceremony is both timely and fitting as we struggle to end a raging pandemic,” she stressed. “Indeed, water is life.”
Indahag officials led by Punong Barangay Dahino were also present, with SB members Renejane D. Babia, Bruno C. Exequil, Dolly B. Bete, Fe C. Nambatac, Carmelito R. Damo, Silvestrito J. Reyes and Kristoffer John M. Rivera, with SB Secretary Cesar D. Bautista.
Barangay Indahag Level III Water Supply Project
JE Hydro will construct a Water Treatment Plant (WTP) with a capacity to deliver 5 million liters daily (MLD) of clean and safe potable water at no cost to the barangay. The project will be funded by the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The WTP will source surface water from Bubunawan River in Barangay Pualas, Baungon, Bukidnon with water rights secured from the National Water Rights Board (NWRB) for 10MLD, to provide for future expansion.
JE Hydro has a proven track record of construction of Water Treatment Plants as well as operation and management of water distribution. The Indahag WTP and distribution system will be undertaken by LPL Contractor Richard Mercado.
A Series of Miracles
“It is fortunate that we find ourselves this morning trying to produce water, which is basic to life. And we must make sure that this model becomes a symbol, and becomes an example of many more to come. Our population is growing despite covid, our economy will bounce back and will grow, and water is basic to everything,” Lorenzo said.
“Today’s a special day, I’m a Catholic, today is the feast of the Annunciation,” Lorenza said. “If you look at the story behind the Annunciation, it was a series of miracles that led to our belief that a wonderful simple lady became the mother of God.”
“That’s why when you look at the miracles happening around us, don’t forget we can never accomplish what we are trying to do today without the blessings from the Almighty, and without thanking him for all the graces we have received.”
“We are all recipients of his blessings, but we give back by being stewards of what he gives us.”
Councilor Nacaya similarly expressed his appreciation at the significance of the event.
“Today marks a significant day to not only to barangay Indahag, but to all Kagay-anons, as well. The groundbreaking of the water production facility signals new leap of progress in the city. I am very happy that JE Hydro Corp and its partners are endeavoring to design, construct and supply water, from source to the household faucets.”
“Water is not only a necessity to a person’s daily living, but it is life itself – that without it, human race cannot survive. Potable water is also of the same sphere, yet we are not able to provide our people with this basic need,” he stressed.
“The groundbreaking ceremony this morning signifies larger than a project for the people in Indahag, but it magnifies growth and development in this community and nearby areas. While it provides water and secures a healthy community, yet, it also boosts the economy of the small businesses and trigger the entry of new investments.”
The Cagayan de Oro City Council unanimously approved earlier without objection during its regular session Monday, March 1, 2021, Resolution No. 2021-47 endorsing and/or imposing no objection to the application of the JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation to develop, build and maintain a Level-3 Water Supply and Distribution System in Barangay Indahag, this city with the intent to supply and distribute a safe drinking water to households and establishments in said barangay.
With a population of 16,179 per the 2015 Census representing 2.4% of the city’s population, the upland barangay in the second congressional district may soon be one of its fastest growing. Lately barangay officials estimate its population has risen to approximately 21, 000.
During an earlier committee hearing, Indahag Kag. Carmelito Damo said Indahag’s population has been expanding due to the city’s Sendong relocation projects ( Habitat Phase1 and 2, over 1,000 HH ; Caritas Village, over 100 HH) and private subdivisions such as Mersville del Mondo which has not yet been occupied, and Villa Vita with over 1,800 units, but only has about 50 occupied because of the lack of water supply.
“Nalipay mi kay almost 26 years wala mi tubig gikan sa kagamhanan tungod kay layo kaayo among barangay ug dili makasaka ang tubig sa water district,” Damo, himself a former Indahag Punong Barangay stressed.
“Our general assembly of almost 1,000 residents unanimously agreed to accept the project tungod kay barato ra P7 kada drum. Affordable kaayo sa amo. Naghangyo mi sa JE Hydro nga dalian kay nadaghan na mga residente tungod sa nga relocation sites.”
To further emphasize the urgency of the situation, Barangay Indahag passed Barangay Resolution No. 017-2021 during its 5th regular session held March 1, 2021 requesting JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corp. to fast track its Level-3 Water Supply Network to service Bgy. Indahag and its adjacent communities.
The resolution rued how Bgy. Indahag had been suffering from insufficient supply of safe and potable water for decades, stressing how the barangay has not yet been served the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD), and they have just been making do with water delivered by water tankers and unreliable deep wells, further putting the health and well-being of residents at risk during this time of the global pandemic.
“If we already have water in Indahag, Cagayan de Oro will not be so congested. We are flood-free. This will also help develop our barangay,” he added.
Despite already having a reservoir constructed 12 years ago during the term of former city mayor Constantino G. Jaraula, the barangay has remained waterless for want of a viable water supply.
“Knowing the masterplan of the owners and officers of this hydro company, I can see better years ahead for our fellow Kagay-anons in the elevated barangays, such as Balubal, Lumbia and the hinterland communities,” Nacaya stressed. “We express our sincerest gratitude to JE Hydro and partners for this worthwhile projects in the City. More years of partnership in the City of Golden Friendship!”