Wao, Lanao del Sur launches largest water system on March 30, 2021

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Japanese government launched on March 30 a new water system in Wao, Lanao del Sur that will provide clean and safe water amid the pandemic.

The water system connects six barangays with a combined population of 10,000, which had limited access to water for two decades. 

“Water has become more valuable during Covid-19 especially for areas facing multiple burdens such as extreme poverty, conflict, and climate change,” said Khalid Hassan, director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

The water system, which has 69 tap stands, covers communities, agricultural areas, schools and a birthing clinic.

A total of 263 community members who mostly lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the pandemic  were trained and hired in the construction of the ILO Japan and Water Sanitation Project. 

The water project also guaranteed equal work opportunity by letting women engage in construction work.

Laborers got social protection benefits. Occupational security and well-being conventions were implemented.

The project also helped in upgrading the technical and financial skills of the community, promoting decent work and contributing to peacebuilding in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“We are quite pleased that opportunities for decent work and improved living conditions were provided to the locals, and proper health protocols were observed during construction,” Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines said.

The launching of the water system and turnover of the water system to the local government and community members was led by BARMM Minister Romeo Sema of the Ministry of Labor and Employment and chairman of the Project Advisory and Review Committee.

The water system cost P17 million, including wages and benefits and a P3.9-million local government counterpart. H.B. Oledan