Tuesday Nov, 29 2022 03:25:48 AM

Water supply system for South Upi school up courtesy of Japan, ILO

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 11:30 AM Tue Nov 10, 2020
John M. Unson
The foreign-assisted water supply system project was launched Monday. (Photo from MOLE-BARMM)

MAGUINDANAO --- Two international entities provided 1,600 children in a poor upland town with a water supply system, just after helping 1,750 informal workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the 1,600 pupils of the Timanan Central Elementary School, or TCES, mostly non-Moro ethnic Teduray children, dozens of poor families residing around also stand to benefit from the facility, jointly built by the Japanese government and the International Labour Organization.

Representatives from the Japanese government, the ILO and officials of the Ministry of Labor and Employment-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao turned over Monday to the school administration and local government unit of South Upi the water supply system in the TCES campus.

The foreign-assisted water system project was implemented for about 600 days with the help of masons and carpenters as paid skilled workers.

Bangsamoro Labor Minister Romeo Sema said he is thankful to the Japanese government and ILO, which is an agency of the United Nations, for embarking on the project.

The facility is comprised of an overhead reservoir supplied with safe water from a source nearby via a plumbing network and other essential engineering complement.

“This project augurs well with the efforts of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim to maximize the Bangsamoro government’s humanitarian initiatives,” Sema said.

The water system for the TCES was a constructed under the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project, according to Sema.

Japan, which supported the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that resulted in the creation in 2019 of the MILF-led Bangsamoro government, is a major benefactor, along with the ILO, of humanitarian projects for the Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities in BARMM.

The ILO had earlier provided the MOLE-BARMM with an P11.9 million grant for an emergency employment program for informal workers that went jobless due to the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions since March this year.

The joint MOLE-BARMM and ILO initiative, dubbed Community Emergency Employment Program, or CEEP,  was meant to cushion the impact of the pandemic to informal sector workers.

The ILO  allocated P11.9 million for the CEEP as stated in a partnership agreement with the MOLE-BARMM that representatives of both sides forged last month.

The Japan-ILO water supply system project for pupils of the TCES was also facilitated with the help of MOLE-BARMM.

“It warms our heart that through this project, with the ILO, we provided decent work and improved living conditions to workers who have built the water system,” Economic Minister Masahiro Nakata of the Japanese embassy in Manila said in a statement Monday.

Arturo Maghanoy, president of the parents-teachers association of TCES, said lack of clean water for pupils in the school was a serious challenge their PTA have, for decades, struggled to address.

He said there was no adequate supply of water for drinking and washing of pupils’ hands and for flushing the school toilets until the completion of the Japan-ILO water supply system for TCES.

“We are very grateful to the government of Japan, to the ILO and the Bangsamoro labor ministry for this,” Maghanoy told reporters.



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