BRGY. MACASANDAG, PARANG, MAGUINDANAO (August 20, 2019)  — Infrastructure boosts incomes, creates more and better economic opportunities, and empowers communities.

This is becoming a reality for the residents of this agriculture-based barangay after receiving a Level III Water Supply System under the national government’s PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) initiative.

PAMANA National Program Manager Andres S. Aguinaldo Jr. noted the project will be a reliable source of safe, potable water for residents, while generating revenues to sustain its operations and improve the delivery of services.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., in his message read by Aguinaldo said that “the water supply system project we are turning over can provide more than four million liters of clean and potable water a day, and satisfy the water needs of Parang’s residents.”

“Ang OPAPP, sa pamamagitan ng PAMANA ay binibigyang halaga ang proyekto para magkaroon ng malinis na tubig sa mga lugar na nangangailangan nito tulad ng Bayan ng Parang (The OPAPP through PAMANA values this project for the provision of safe drinking water in areas that needs it the most such as the town of Parang),” he added.

The Level III Water System is the first of its kind in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), as most of the water system projects built in the area are categorized as Levels I and II.

The project was carried out through a collaborative effort of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways – ARMM, and Ministry of Public Works and Highways – BARMM.

According to Parang Mayor Cahar P. Ibay, the lack of an efficient water supply system in the municipality over the years had restricted its economic development.

With the completion of the water system, Ibay foresees a major improvement in the quality of life of his constituents, and a significant rise in the income of the municipality.

The project is now benefiting more than three hundred households in the area, and is expected to serve more by providing direct water connections to their homes.

“Ang tubig ay buhay, basic need ng tao ang tubig…matatandaan natin na ang Parang dati ay hirap sa tubig. Ngayon, meron na tayong tubig (Water is life. Water is among the peoples’ basic needs. Before, obtaining water was difficult in Parang. Now, we have water.),” Ibay pointed out.

“More than 300 aplikante na ang nakabitan natin. Rest assured na ito ay pangangalagaan namin at nang maka-generate pa in the near future (More than 300 applicants have been installed with water lines. Rest assured that we will take care of this so we can generate [income] in the future.),” he said.

“Maraming gusto mag invest dito sa Parang pero ang problema ay patubig. Ngayong meron na, marami ng investors na gusto mag invest sa ating munisipyo (There are a lot who would like to invest in Parang but the main concern is water. Now that we have [a water system], a lot of investors would like to invest in the municipality.),” he added.

The implementation of peace-promoting and catch-up socioeconomic development projects in remote, conflict affected areas through the PAMANA Program is in line with the national government’s Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022.

These interventions are designed to lay down the foundations for sustainable development, while ensuring the protection and development of communities in underserved and conflict-vulnerable areas.

The turn over of the water system project coincided with the celebration of Parang’s 72nd Founding Anniversary with the theme “Patuloy na Pagkakaisa Tungo sa Ibayong Kasaganahan ng Parang, MagandaNow.”

Parang is considered the economic gateway of the province of Maguindanao.  Its Polloc Port, the sole free port in the region, generates millions of pesos of revenues for the municipality.

A three-time Seal of Good Local Governance awardee, Parang’s development is anticipated to gain greater momentum with the establishment of the BARMM.###