BARMM school receives water system from ILO, Japan

THE International Labor Organization (ILO) and Japanese government recently turned over a water system to Looy Integrated Technical Vocational High School in Barangay Looy, South Upi, Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office)

DAVAO CITY – Before the construction of the Level II water system, the Bangsamoro government said students of Looy Integrated Technical Vocational High School (LITVHS) in South Upi, Maguindanao would have to bring "four gallons of water to school every day." Recently, the school received a newly installed water system from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Japanese government.

The ILO, Japan government, and the Bangsamoro government’s Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) handed over last June 21 the Level II Water System to LITVHS in Barangay Looy.

“We have brought water close to almost 500 households from a water source estimated to be seven kilometers away in a total of a nine-kilometer piping system has been constructed,” ILO Philippines Director Khalid Hassan said in a statement released by the Bangsamoro government.

"We are also happy to know that 1,169 students in two schools will now have safe and clean water for drinking and washing anytime of the day,” he added.

The BARMM government also noted that Masahiro Nakata, representative of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, confirmed that Japan and the ILO have lined up a total of 11 water systems for the region as part of the Japan-Bangasamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (JBIRD) program.

MOLE Minister Romeo Sema, chairman of the project’s Advisory and Review Committee, said the project also aims to generate productive work and employment among the marginalized communities, particularly the Teduray which comprise 80 percent of the population in Barangay Looy. “Puwede itong (water system) mag-bukas ng mga oportunidad para sa livelihood, safety, and health at mas disenteng pamumuhay (This water system may open opportunities for livelihood, safety, health, and more decent living),” Sema added. The Bangsamoro government said: "Through the years, 54 percent of the BARMM population does not have access to clean water." It added that water systems under the project have already been handed over in Barangays Timanan, Rifao, and Renti in South Upi, Maguindanao, and in Wao, Lanao del Sur.

It said: "Similar projects will also be constructed in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi."