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Revisit: Filipino inventor’s portable water treatment device

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

Not all country has access to clean water and the Philippines is not the only country experiencing water shortage.

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people have no access to clean and drinkable water. Each year, 1.5 million children die due to diarrhea.

Other areas, especially those in the desert, also have difficulty in getting water.

In Yemen and Morocco, some resourceful individuals are able to draw water by building nets that gather fog and convert the moisture into water.

In the Philippines, UNTV News was able to document the portable water treatment device of Ernesto Labuntog in 2015.

It can filter water gathered from rain, rivers, and even floods.

During Labuntog’s demo, he collected standing water found in the area and mixed it with soil. He added chlorine to kill bacteria and coagulants to remove other elements. After a few minutes, he conducted a potability test to ensure that the process is going smoothly.

He poured the water into a portable water device that has a cartridge filter for the initial process. The device also has a multimedia filter located below.

Labuntog was the first one to drink the water after it was filtered in the device.

Five gallons of flood water only costs P2.50 while five liters of flood only costs 25 centavos.

“Iyon ang nagpapatunay na ang tubig na maduduming kinukuha natin ay naiinom after going through the process [It proves that any water we collected can be drinkable after going through the process],” Labuntog said.

One unit of this device can supply water for 10 households for six months. A hundred of these units were already used during typhoon Pablo in Compostella Valley and during the cholera outbreak in Catanduanes.

Labuntog already offered the device to different government agencies but none responded.

Some foreigners took interest in the device but he did not sell it to them.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Duterte admin mulls over creation of Department of Water

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

The Duterte Administration is studying the creation of the Department of Water to mitigate the severe effects of El Niño and water shortage.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet members discussed the possibility of forming a Department of Water during the 36th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday night (April 1).

READ: El Niño damage to PH agriculture P4.35B

“A roadmap was presented, which included immediate, medium and long-term interventions, such as making an intensive campaign for the conservation of water and energy,” Panelo said.

Also discussed during the meeting, according to Panelo, is the formation of the Department of Disaster Resilience, dredging of waterways, replacing tunnels and aqueducts, installing water tank systems in all Department of Health hospitals and providing funding for the establishment of water treatment plants.

He said this will synchronize the actions of all government agencies and prevent the water interruption from happening again.—Aileen Cerrudo with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Manila Water to expedite pipe laying works to address supply woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

Manila Water lays out an 800-meter long pipe that will connect the municipalities of Taytay, Angono and Binangonan to its Cardona water treatment facility,

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Water Services Company is looking to expedite its ongoing pipe laying works along the stretch of Marcos Highway traversing the towns of Taytay, Angono and Binangonan in Rizal province.

The Manila Water targets to complete the laying of the 800-meter long pipe from the Cardona Water Treatment Facility this week.

The project is seen to address the shortage of water supply in parts of Rizal province and eastern Metro Manila, which were hit by water service interruptions last month.

Manila Water has earlier announced it will implement a one-time full bill waiver for consumers who were severely affected by the water service outage in March. This will be reflected on their April bill.

A partial list of areas validated as severely affected has been released by the company on Sunday. This include the Barangays of Addition Hills, Barangka Drive, Plainview, Highway Hills and Hulo in Mandaluyong; Kapitolyo, Bagong Ilog and Oranbo in Pasig; Upper Bicutan in Taguig and Mambog in Binangonan, Rizal.

READ: Manila Water releases list of areas to be given full bill waiver

Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said they are still working on the list of other areas that will avail of the full bill waiver program as the validation process is still ongoing.

“Kaya natin bina-validate kaya hindi natin mailabas yun [kumpletong listahan] kasi baka mamaya isipin ng mga tao na taga tandang sora ako so wala ako dapat bayaran hindi ganun,” Sevilla told UNTV News and Rescue in an interview.

(We cannot release it yet as we are still validating more areas. This is to prevent public misconception that because I live in Tandang Sora then I am covered by the full bill waiver. It’s not like that.)

Manila Water said around 152,000 households from 44 severely affected barangays will be given a full bill waiver for their March consumption.

The April bill will be fully waived if residents experienced water service outage for 24 hours for at least seven days.

Customers who experienced only a few hours of water interruption will still receive a waiver for the first 10 cubic meters of their March consumption, equivalent to P135, to be deducted in their April bill.

The voluntary, one-time bill waiver scheme was announced by the Manila Water last week to compensate thousands of their customers, whose taps ran dry last month.

But for Juliet Peraira, a Manila Water client in Barangay Mambog, Binangonan in Rizal, the program is not enough to recompense the struggles they had to face due to water service outage.

“Kaya hanggang ngayon nag-iipon pa rin kami ng tubig kasi hindi pa talaga totally may tubig. Minsan, wala pa rin tubig,” Peraira said.

(Until now, we are still storing water because the supply has yet to become stable.)

Allan Mesa, also a resident of Barangay Mambog, echoed Peraira’s sentiment.

“May tangke kami, kaso 3 days lang duration nun, ubos na rin kasi lima kaming gumagamit dito eh. Noong mawalan [ng tubig] hintay na lang kami ng truck nila [Manila Water],” Mesa said.

(We have a water tank but it can only store water for 3 days. Five people are using it so the water is swiftly depleted. When the water taps ran dry, we waited for their truck)

Lourdes Ocampo, on the other hand, was sourcing their family’s water supply from a deep well which became their neighborhood’s water source during the height of service outage.

“Hindi ko pinababayaran kasi tulong mo na lang yan dahil kung ako naman ang mawalan [ng tubig] nakiki ano [igib] rin ako ganun,” she said.

(I gave them water for free. In case I lose any water supply, I also fetch from them)

Barangay Mambog usually experiences low water pressure and supply due to its elevated position.

Manila Water is looking to address this by laying more pipes linking from their local water treatment facility in Cardona.

The company has apologized for the heavy traffic and other inconveniences due to the ongoing utility project.

Consumers may call Manila Water hotline number 1627 for any inquiry or complaint. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Mon Jocson)

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Residents in Taytay, Rizal fight over water supply amid week-long shortage

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 29th, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Tensions are rising as several residents of Brgy. Muzon in Taytay, Rizal continue to suffer zero water supply for over a week.

According to Barangay Chairman Frank Luster Santos, residents are becoming aggressive towards local authorities and at each other over rations from Manila Water.

“Ang problema lang hinaharang ng mga tao mismo [trak ng tubig]. Kung haharangin po nila at inaaway po kami, pati ang Manila Water po ay inaaway din po (The problem is, residents are trying to corner the truck of water. When we block them, they turn on us and the personnel of Manila Water),” he said.

One of the residents, Fatima Co said the ration delivered by Manila Water doesn’t even reach their area.

“Pero member din naman kami ng Manila Water. Kung sino ang malakas iyon ang maano, paano kami doon sa dulo, wala na. Hindi na kami nadadatnan ng tubig, (We are members of Manila Water too, but only those with personal connections to influential people get water first. What about us, nothing is left for us)” she said.

Co adds they have been experiencing water interruptions for a month.

Meanwhile, in a text a message to UNTV, Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said that barangay Muzon continue to experience lack of water supply because of their steep location.

“We hope to improve the water supply situation in the next few days after the completion of the testing of the booster and pipe,” he said

Residents like Co had no choice but to collect water from a nearby spring.

However, the line to the spring is also long. There is also no assurance that it is safe to drink. Residents use the water for laundry and bath. But, according to some residents, if left with no choice, they would use it for drinking too.

Other residents would also pay someone just to carry heavy water containers uphill. They pay P5 to P120 depending on the water containers to be carried.

Hermy Obinguar, one of the residents, said their dilemma forces them to have unnecessary expenses.

“Ang budget sira. Imbis na ipangbili na lang ng ulam, pagkain, ibabayad pa namin para buhatin ang tubig namin, (Our budget is ruined. Instead of buying food, we pay someone just to carry our water),” he said.

Barangay Chairman Santos said they are trying to resolve the water problem but all they can do for now is remind residents to conserve water.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

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