The metropolitan water and sewer system (MWSS) and its two private water concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad) and Manila Water Corp. (Manila Water), have released nearly 37 million pesos of development funds for indigenous peoples (IPs) and farmers of Bulacan involving two large MWSS projects.
In a press release, MWSS President and Trustee Reynaldo V. Velasco said the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project (AWTIP), or Tunnel 4, is a classic example of l The importance of commitment, collaboration, partnership and respect to obtain the approval of IPs in any development project in their ancestral domain.
Tunnel 4 is located in the 0.685 hectare ancestral domain of the IPs of Sitio Ipo, Barangay San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan.
The National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) classified the project as non-extractive, non-intrusive and small-scale.
Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples (ICC / IP), in particular Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples of Dumagat from the ancestral domain of Kabayunan to DoÃ±a Remedios Trinidad and Norzagaray, Bulacan, expressed their support for the project upon free, prior consent. and enlightened. (FPIC) on consultation, community assemblies, consensus building and decision making.
â€œCommunity participation is always essential to identify local needs and the MWSS has provided an appropriate response from IPs,â€ said Velasco, attributing the strong relationship the MWSS has had with the IPs / ICCs that have opened. the way to the signing of the memorandum of understanding. (MOA) on December 17, 2019.
The MOA includes indigenous defined FPIC processes, self-determined development plans and a community development fund of P 20 million.
The Certification Prerequisite, or CP, a certificate issued by the NCIP attesting to the granting of FPIC by the Indigenous Cultural Communities of Dumagat / Indigenous Peoples of the Kabayunan Ancestral Domain was signed on September 25, 2020.
Shortly thereafter, MWSS concessionaires, Manila Water Company, and Maynilad Services Inc. funded the 20 million peso check pledged to the community. For the sake of transparency, a ceremony for the rotation and acceptance of community development assistance was recently held.
Mr. Rodolfo Aquino, President of the Bulos-Kabol-Lowen Indigenous Association of Bulacan, accepted the check. In his message, Tribal Governor Rolando M. Rivera said the fund will improve the quality of life of the community and will be used to promote the interests, beliefs and customs of the IP.
Meanwhile, Velasco announced the release of financial support worth 16.25 million pesos to the 6,500 farmers of the Federation of Irrigators of the Angat-Maasim River Irrigation System (AMRIS), represented recently by the president of the group, Guillermo N. Mangaluz.
The financial assistance is part of the AMRIS project and Bustos Dam follows the drought and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Due to the drought and the repair of the Bustos dam in May 2020, the MWSS asked the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to increase the allocation for domestic use of Metro Manila to support the strong demand in water due to Covid-19.
The approval by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the approval by the NWRB of an additional discharge in the MWSS ensured the continued availability of water in the service area.
In the spirit of bayanihan, MWSS appealed to Maynilad and Manila Water to equally guarantee and fund financial assistance to farmers.
â€œWith the help of the NIA, we were able to select the qualified beneficiaries. With gratitude, I would like to thank Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company Inc. for making the necessary payment as compensation to the farmer-beneficiaries, â€said Velasco.
NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, Maynilad CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez, Manila Water Operations Director Abelardo P. Basilio, Bulacan Provincial Governor Daniel R. Fernando, Bulacan Ma Provincial Farmer. Gloria SF. Carillo, NIA Regional Director Josephine Salazar, and other officials from the NIA Central Office, Regional Office and Bulacan AMRIS Federation of IA attended the event.
It will be recalled that the director of the NWRB, Sevillo D. David, Jr., proposed to the MWSS a fair cash compensation plan for the Bulacan farmers who were affected by the reduction in the water allocation for the irrigation during the dry season in 2019.