Some 24 indigenous peoples (IP) households in Sitio Tagkawayan, Barangay Sumbiling in Bataraza town will no longer depend on communal deep wells for their water supply needs.

This after Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) through its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) turned over materials for the installation of a Level-2 Water System in the said IP community.

The materials that were turned over include, 1,000L tank, PVC pipe, and other construction materials to complete the project.

Bobit Alihan, RTNMC community organizer, said that the water source will come from the mountain. Based on their assessment, the source is feasible for the project.

“Nagkaroon kami ng ocular inspection at pinuntahan namin ang bukal sa bundok na magiging source ng tubig at nakita ng aming engineer na posibleng maitulak pababa sa community ang tubig,” said Alihan.

The project costs P91,239.15 from RTN’s SDMP Nickel and Limestone Project as part of the companies’ health-related initiatives and interventions in supporting the municipality government in battling malnutrition in Bataraza.

Quirino Awas, IP community leader and chieftain, is hoping that the water system project would materialize since they were only depending on communal deep wells.

“Malaking bagay po ito para sa amin dito sa Tagkawayan, na meron na kaming ,mapagkukunan ng tubig. Dati po kasi, umiigib pa kami sa mga balon. Ngayon mas malapit na ang tubig sa amin. Sana magtagumpay itong proyekto,” he said.

Awas added that on their part, the maintenance and labor of the project will be shouldered by them as they are grateful to receive such a rare project.

“Pagtutulungan na lang naming gawin ang proyekto.” he said.

Awas added that the main goal of the water system project is for “Tarukan” use. Tarukan is an IP traditional structure used for tribal celebrations.

Bong Dela Rosa, RTN ComRel manager said that they have been into supporting its partner communities through their SDMP and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs as part of its commitment to contribute on the development of the community’s welfare where it operates.

“Isa lang ito sa mga maliliit na proyektong patubig ng RTN at mayroon pang nakaabang na malalaking proyektong patubig sa ilang Barangay sa Bataraza sa pamamagitan ng aming SDMP at CSR. Ito ay para sa patuloy nating effort sa community development,” said Dela Rosa.

The construction of the water system project will immediately begin this July.