Putting Coca-Cola stickers to some tap stands in Brgy Catmon. Thank you Agos Foundation!! Photo from Ferdinand Morillo
Putting Coca-Cola stickers to some tap stands in Brgy Catmon. Thank you Agos Foundation!! Photo from Ferdinand Morillo

NAVAL, Biliran (PIA) – Daghang Salamat! (Thank You!). Mano Nelson Sarsosa gladly said while cleaning his fish net in a conversation with him on the Catmon ram pump project where Sitio Mocalbocal, Naval, his home place, is one of the recipient sitios of the potable water project.

Mano Nelson is one of the active sitio leaders who worked 24/7 for the realization of the long dream potable water project which caters to almost 1,000 households in Barangay Catmon, a coastal barangay in the municipality of Naval where fishing is a major source of income of the residents.

Rotary Club of Biliran Island-AIDFI-Coca Cola Agos Foundation Ram Pump Water Distribution Project updates on our two source sites benefiting 5 component barangays of Naval, Biliran.
Rotary Club of Biliran Island-AIDFI-Coca Cola Agos Foundation Ram Pump Water Distribution Project updates on our two source sites benefiting 5 component barangays of Naval, Biliran. Photo from Ferdinand Morillo

“Who would know that in just four months time, we now enjoy uninterrupted supply of potable water near our doorsteps”, Mano Nelson honestly admitted with the installation of 37 water tap stands covering a maximum of eight to ten households.

Initial discussion in the implementation of the P4.7M Catmon ram pump project was conducted in March 12, 2016 in Catmon Barangay hall with Che Edzinga, program director, Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Incorporated (AIDFI)-Coca-Cola Foundation AGOS Project; Lydia Ligahon, program manager, AIDFI-Coca-Cola AGOS project; Roseville Olglacier, Sheena Olmido, AIDFI community development facilitators; Rotary Club of BiliranIsland members led by Engr. Ferdinand Morillo, president and Catmon barangay officials led by Barangay Captain George Dela Pena.

“I still have doubts despite the initial discussions on the project,” Mano Nelson honestly admitted based on experience in the implementation of government and other public-private partnership projects implemented in the barangay where it took so long before the projects were completed.

His doubt vanished when various ram pump construction materials arrived a week after the initial talks with top officials of AIDFI-Coca-Cola AGOS Project, Rotary Club of Biliran Island officers and members, and Catmon barangay officials.

“This is for real,” he concluded after he saw the rolls of mesh wires, almost a hundred bags of cement, several rolls of black pipes of different sizes and other construction materials where residents of Sitio Mocalbocal have debarked from the cargo truck through “bayanihan”.

With only more than three months of work for the construction of additional ram pumps for the water source in Sitio Bonot in Barangay Haguikhikan, Naval; construction of big capacity cistern tanks near the source and in strategic places of the barangay; and the laying of pipes running several kilometers from the source going to the beneficiaries of the project; Alas and behold! uninterrupted and oozing water flows from the tap stand to the surprise of the residents longing for such kind of water supply service.

“I cannot measure the happiness I felt after the flow of water came out from the faucet of the tap stand,” Mano Nelson said with a shrill voice and countenance changing obviously that time we talk about the ram pump project.

Barangay Captain George Dela Pena in a one-on-one talk also expressed his wholehearted thanks to the donors of the ram pump project since the long-time problem of scarcity of potable water supply has already been addressed.

“We celebrated our annual barangay fiesta on July 15-16 this year and the water from the tap stands established in our barangay have greatly answered the water needs of the residents during that two-day affair,” he emphasized.

Both men being interviewed who are instrumental in the realization of the ram pump project have expressed their heavenly delight for the project which does not only provides water to the residents but livelihood opportunities out of waste materials, technical know-how on organic fertilizer production, and knowledge on proper solid waste management brought and taught by couple Jet and Carmel Obida, technical trainers of Lupa, Araw, Hangin, Ako at Tayo (LAHAT) commissioned by AIDFI to provide training to the beneficiaries of ram pump projects.

“We assure of the sustainability of the ram pump project just as we consider it already as an integral part of the lives of the members of Catmon Water Association (CAWA), now a duly registered association of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),” Edgar Sacare, CAWA president, assured during our conversation.

That day when I interviewed Mano Nelson, Kapitan George and Presidente Edgar, I also talked to several residents of Barangay Catmon proper including some residents of sitios Puro, Mocalbocal and Baras all of Naval town in Biliran Province and they honestly utter only two words “Daghang Salamat!.” (rvictoria/PIA Biliran)

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