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LGUs can borrow from Land Bank, DBP for water projects

A PROGRAM of the Bohol Provincial Government grants Local Government Units (LGUs) the capability to borrow from Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to develop communal water sources in their respective municipalities.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said water is a big issue especially in the 2nd District where about nine towns under it are classified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as poorest among the poor.

Yap also said that his dream is to provide fresh and potable water to the people in Bohol’s islets.

“When I became governor, some persons told me that my program is impossible to realize because islets are remote. In our research and what we already have shown, desalination plants can convert seawater to potable water,” Yap said.

He said their first desalination plant that delivers 11,000 liters a day is in Pandanon islet in Getafe, Bohol. The people there used to buy water at P3 to P5 per liter.

Now, the price was decreased by P0.50 per liter. He congratulated the Municipality of Baclayon for the second desalination plant in Pamilacan islet which is already operational.

The other desalination plants which are about to operate are in Kalitoban in Talibon; Isla Sag; Gingutanan and Bilangbilangan in Bien Unido; Cuaming in Inabanga; and maybe about ten other clustered islet barangays.

“In mainland Bohol, we also give financial assistance for water system. I am hoping that all LGUs will accept the loan program for water system from Land Bank and DBP, Yap said.

“If a municipality will tie-up with the Bohol Provincial Government in securing loans either from Land Bank or DBP, we can borrow money at two percent interest per annum for two years and four percent per annum in the next ten years. If the LGU concerned will compute the average cost of money, that is the cheapest. The average interest rate is more than three percent per annum from ten to twelve years. Where can you see a capital investment with three to four percent interest per annum?” Yap added.

That loan is only for municipalities. Yap has already distributed P100,000 in 2020 to each of the 1,109 barangays for water system since 2020. They continue to give financial for barangay water assistance for 2021, and still in 2022.

“My target is to establish a water system within my first term. There must be abundant water, or a water system can be started in all 1,109 barangays in Bohol. We started the water system project in barangays and will continue until all barangays will have potable water,” the governor said.

“If I am blessed with a second term as Bohol governor in 2022, then we will continue. It will be an annual project. As long as I am the Bohol governor, I will continue that project. We should have a non-stop water supply,” he mused. ELIAS O. BAQUERO