Sponsored by JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation
By Mike Baños
Residents of Barangay Indahag and nearby upland communities can avail of free potable drinking water for the next five days.
“As a sign of gratitude to everyone who made this project a success, JE Hydro and Bio Energy Corporation (JEHBEC) will sponsor a 5-day Libreng Tubig Festival to anyone who wants to avail of it from today until Sunday,” said Joel A. Baldelovar, JEHBEC Director for Business Development in his welcome remarks during the November 23rd blessing and inauguration of Cagayan de Oro’s first ever upland water treatment plant at Sto. Niño, Barangay Indahag.
“JE Hydro provides clean and safe drinking water. Aside from Barangay Indahag, the new facility will also service residents in Upper Camaman-an and Upper Gusa with round the clock water supply straight to Indahag households and establishments,” said Engr. Joffrey E. Hapitan, JEHBEC Chairman in a message from Cebu where the company recently inaugurated the revolutionary 20MLD Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in Barangay Lusaran, Cebu City which now provides water to nine previously waterless upland barangays, on top of providing much needed bulk water to Metro Cebu Water District.
“We wish to thank JE Hydro for helping us bring potable water to Barangay Indahag and our nearby communities,” said City Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy in the vernacular in his message during the event. “We appreciate how you have invested your own resources in this project, and hope you can still help bring water to our other waterless barangays which cannot be serviced by our Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD).”
Mayor Klarex also acknowledged the support given by the past city council for unanimously approving the project, as well as the current city council headed by Vice Mayor Jocelyn “Bebot” B. Rodriguez who likewise pledged their support for similar private-public partnerships which can provide safe drinking water to the city’s waterless barangays.
The Cagayan de Oro City Council unanimously approved earlier without objection during its regular session Monday, March 1, 2021, Resolution No. 2021-47 endorsing and/or imposing no objection to the application of the JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation to develop, build and maintain a Level-3 Water Supply and Distribution System in Barangay Indahag, this city with the intent to supply and distribute a safe drinking water to households and establishments in said barangay.
With a population of 16,179 per the 2015 Census representing 2.4% of the city’s population, the upland barangay in the second congressional district may soon be one of its fastest growing. Lately barangay officials estimate its population has risen to approximately 21, 000.
Also present during the event were Luis Ramon P. Lorenzo, Jr., chairman of the LLJ Water Resources Corporation, (one of three firms undertaking the project), Indahag Punong Barangay Jocelyn N. Dahino, Balubal Punong Barangay Pablo Bactong, City Councilor & Majority Floor Leader Ian Mark Q. Nacaya and City Councilors Imee Moreno, Ivy Emano, Ian Achas, James J. Judith and Malvern Esparcia, and former COWD Chairman and Oro Chamber President Ruben A. Vegafria, currently the regional governor for Region X (Northern Mindanao) of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (PCCI)
Barangay Indahag Level III Water Supply Project
The Indahag Water Treatment Plant (WTP) constructed by JEHBEC has a capacity to deliver 5 million liters daily (MLD) of clean and safe potable water at no cost to the barangay. The project is funded by the Land Bank of the Philippines who were represented yesterday by Account Officers Ramil Lumayag and Laiza Lou Ting.
The WTP will source surface water from Bubunawan River in Barangay Pualas, Baungon, Bukidnon with water rights secured from the National Water Rights Board (NWRB) for 10MLD, to provide for future expansion.
JE Hydro has a proven track record of construction of Water Treatment Plants as well as operation and management of water distribution. The Indahag WTP and distribution system was undertaken by LPL Contractor Richard Mercado.
During an earlier committee hearing, Indahag Kag. Carmelito Damo said Indahag’s population has been expanding due to the city’s Sendong relocation projects (Habitat Phase1 and 2, over 1,000 HH ; Caritas Village, over 100 HH) and private subdivisions such as Mersville del Mondo which has not yet been occupied, and Villa Vita with over 1,800 units, but only has about 50 occupied because of the lack of water supply.
“Nalipay mi kay almost 26 years wala mi tubig gikan sa kagamhanan tungod kay layo kaayo among barangay ug dili makasaka ang tubig sa water district,” Damo, himself a former Indahag Punong Barangay stressed.
To further emphasize the urgency of the situation, Barangay Indahag passed Barangay Resolution No. 017-2021 during its 5th regular session on March 1, 2021 requesting JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corp. to fast track its Level-3 Water Supply Network to service Bgy. Indahag and its adjacent communities.
The resolution rued how Bgy. Indahag had been suffering from insufficient supply of safe and potable water for decades, stressing how the barangay has not yet been served the Cagayan de Oro City Water District (COWD), and they have just been making do with water delivered by water tankers (at P75 per barrel of unfiltered water) and unreliable deep wells, further putting the health and well-being of residents at risk during the global pandemic.
“If we already have water in Indahag, Cagayan de Oro will not be so congested. We are flood-free. This will also help develop our barangay,” he added.
Despite already having a reservoir constructed 12 years ago during the term of former city mayor Constantino G. Jaraula, the barangay remained waterless until now for want of a viable water supply.