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Maguindanao's 'pink town' to get water supply soon

The municipal center of Datu Saudi, Maguindanao’s “pink town,” soon to have a water supply facility to be bankrolled by ARMM. Philstar.com/John Unson

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The “pink town” in Maguindanao will have a water supply facility within the next 18 months in yet another infrastructure project complementing the southern Mindanao peace process.

The recipient-municipality, Datu Saudi, is located in the second district of Maguindanao, dotted with buildings and road signs painted pink, the favorite color of its mayor, Samsudin Dimaukom.

Engineer Don Loong, public works secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), on Tuesday said Datu Saudi shall be included in areas that are to be provided by the ARMM government with water supply facilities using the regional government’s 2017 infrastructure subsidy.

The municipality has mountain springs that can be tapped to supply water to peasant enclaves in low-lying areas.

Loong said a research firm, the Woodlands Consultancy, will initiate the study on the viability and costing of the planned “level 3” water supply projects in Datu Saudi.

For engineers in the Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM (DPWH-ARMM), a “level 3” water system is one that is built right at the source, designed to supply clean, potable water to households.

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Levels 1 and 2 water supply facilities are those from where villagers can fetch clean water which they can bring home for drinking and cooking using containers.

The DPWH-ARMM, operating under the joint supervision of Loong and the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, constructed no fewer than 50 water supply facilities in the autonomous region in the past four years.

The autonomous region covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Engineer James Mlok, chief of the Second District Engineering Office (DEO) in Maguindanao, said there are large mountain springs in Datu Saudi that can be tapped to supply water to villages using only gravitational downstream force.

Mlok said the second district of Maguindanao will have a P20 million allocation from the ARMM government for water supply projects in towns within its coverage in 2017.

Loong and Mlok last week held dialogues with local officials in Datu Saudi and nearby towns, as part of the Hataman administration’s development roadmap community consultations, to determine the viability of putting up more water supply facilities in Maguindanao from 2016 to 2017.

The office of Loong and the Maguindanao DEO aims to develop the mountain springs in the hinterlands in Maitem-a-ig, Upper Salbo, Kabingi and Panang areas at the border of Datu Saudi and Datu Unsay town, also in the second district of Maguindanao.

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