All 11 towns in Catanduanes will have their own solar-powered pumps to draw water from deep wells in realization of Congressman Hector Sanchez’s vow to improve the delivery of basic services, including potable water.
Last week, the congressman visited barangay Bothoan in Caramoran to inspect the pilot project located about a kilometer from the national road junction. He was with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) OIC-District Engineer Gil Augustus Balmadrid and Virac Water District (VIWAD) General Manager Gabriel Tejerero.
According to the DPWH, the P20-million project consists of a 200-foot deep well with a 7.5-HP submersible pump powered by a bank of solar panels installed nearby. The solar power system alone costs P8-million, said a DPWH engineer.
The water is then pumped to a concrete cistern with a capacity of 62.5 cubic meters.
Inside, a 25-HP booster pump will send the water through 1,200 lineal meters of pipeline to an existing water tank of the Caramoran Waterworks and Sanitation Association (CARWASA), which currently serves a portion of the town’s poblacion barangays.
From the CARWASA tank, part of the water will again be made to run to the municipal government’s water tank at barangay Icanbato at the back of the St. John the Baptist Church before being distributed to the LGU’s water concessionaires.
Sources said that CARWASA was organized to manage the Level II water system implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the KALAHI-CIDSS program with counterpart funding from the local government.
However, it is claimed that the level of service provided by the association has deteriorated in the recent past, prompting the congressman to prioritize the improvement of the water system in his town.
LGU officials headed by Mayor Glenda Aguilar and Vice Mayor Chyrrel Barro are reportedly considering the creation of a water district for the town upon the urging of Cong. Sanchez.
Caramoran is one of the five towns in the province that do not have their own water districts, with San Miguel, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, Gigmoto and Viga as the other four.
In an interview, the solon said that the proposed solar-powered deep well water sources are intended to help water districts cope with their increasing number of concessionaires as well as provide an alternative to the usual sources like streams and rivers which are prone to contamination by waste and mud during heavy rains.
He disclosed that he wants the Virac Water District to be able to supply potable water to as far as coastal barangays of Magnesia and Talisoy and the upland barangays of Palta.
Funding for several multi-million improvement projects for VIWAD have been allocated by the congressman through the DPWH Catanduanes District Engineering Office.
Early in his term, Cong. Sanchez prioritized the funding and implementation of potable water supply projects in several towns to realize his campaign vow.
Late in 2020 and this year, 12 such water supply projects in nine municipalities, costing a total of P80 million, were completed by DPWH contractors.
These water system projects are in Lictin in San Andres (P10 million), Virac (P5 million), Rizal in Viga (P5 million), Tariwara in Pandan (P5 million), Sagrada in Bagamanoc (P5 million), Tilis in Bato (P5 million), Tucao in Caramoran (P20 million), Solong in San Miguel (P5 million), Sicmil in Gigmoto (5 million), Obi in Caramoran (P3.5 million), Mavil in Bagamanoc (P2.5 million), various barangays in Bato (P4 million) and San Miguel proper (P7
All the 2021 projects involved the construction of water systems with solar water pumps in various barangays in the recipient towns.
Still to be completed are eight more projects costing a total of P47.5 million, broken down as follows: San Miguel in Baras (P3.5 million), Tubli, Datag and Ilaya in Caramoran (P11.5 million), Sioron in Gigmoto (P1.5 million), Hiyop in Pandan (P4 million), Cagdarao in Panganiban (P5.5 million), Timbaan and Lictin in San Andres (P7.5 million), San Roque in Viga (P5 million), and Sto. Domingo and Palta in Virac (P9 million).