ALAMINOS CITY–The 10 local government units in the first district of Pangasinan that organized themselves as ‘One Pangasinan Alliance’ (OPAL) are now developing a common source of potable water with the help of the Canadian International Cooperation Agency (CIDA).
Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza said the potable water project that will tap water from the Balincaguing River in Mabini was already started in January and is set for completion 10 months from now.
CIDA is extending a P250 million grant to the project that will initially provide potable water and irrigation water.
The first phase of the project will cover only Alaminos, Sual, Mabini, Agno, Bani, Anda and Burgos while Bolinao, Dasol and Infanta are covered in the second phase.
Under the program, the potable water from the Balincaguing River, an inland body of water, will go through the pipes of the Alaminos City Water District for distribution to the other OPAL members.
“OPAL was formalized through a memorandum of understanding among all local government units involved where we agreed to band ourselves together and promote our common interest,” said Braganza, the official coordinator of the alliance.
OPAL, with Alaminos as lead proponent, was able to secure the grant when it won in a competition launched by the Department of Interior and Local Government among 22 local governments in the entire country.
OPAL, which will be formally launched in Alaminos on June 10, is the only winner in Luzon. The other winners are Guimaras and Bohol in the Visayas and Zamboanga del Norte in Mindanao.
Members of OPAL proposed the project since they suffer from the common problem of lack of potable drinking water and irrigation due to the phenomenon called salt water intrusion.
The CIDA grant includes funding of the training of officials for the management of the project, and promotion of agriculture, tourism, livelihood and disaster-preparedness.
“Potable water and irrigation could help boost productivity, increase income of farmers, reduce poverty and ensure faster delivery of basic services aside from creating other opportunities,” Braganza said.—LM