The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) said it will continue to focus on the installation of additional transmission lines and the expansion of water system services to unserved barangays in the city as the management shifts with the appointment of a new general manager.
Assistant general manager Walter Laurel, who assumed water district’s top post last week, said Thursday that one of their priority barangays is Bacungan where a lot of entrepreneurs have opened their businesses. The local government unit (LGU) also requested to include barangays Manalo and Maryugon for the construction of water system projects.
“Sa ating Montible and Lapu-Lapu sources, ang nakikita naming problema ngayon ay distribution pipelines. We are planning to install more transmission lines doon sa kabilang kalsada and then ‘yong expansion natin sa unserved barangays, itutuloy din natin,” Laurel said.
“[Ang] immediate na kailangan mapatubigan ay ‘yong Brgy. Bacungan, ang dami na nagsitayuan na establishments doon pero wala pa tayong water system. Iyon ang pinaplano namin, may mga request din ang LGU natin na unahin ang Manalo at Maryugon, iyan ang hanapan natin ng pondo kung saan natin kukunin ‘yong pampatayo ng water system,” he said.
Aside from the expansion, the new management will continue the ongoing projects such as the Water System Improvement Project Phase II (WSIP II) in Montible and Lapu-Lapu rivers, which is expected to be completed by November.
Project contractor HG III Construction & Development Corp., assured the management that it will be completed before the target date on November 26 as PPCWD aims to inaugurate it on its 45th Anniversary in August.
“Meron tayong temporary facility sa Montible and Lapu-Lapu pero that’s only around 9,000 cubic meters per day ang nadagdag pero meron naman tayong Campo Uno na sobrang lakas ngayon. Hindi pa bumaba ang level so no problem. Eighty percent of our water ngayon ay nasa surface na kinukuha, worst case, kung wala ng ulan, nandiyan naman ang ating deep wells, standby lang sila,” Laurel said.
The P700 million-worth project was conceptualized in 2014 in a bid to provide a stable, reliable, and sustainable supply of water for 30 years in the city. Construction started in 2019 after hurdling all several setbacks and signing of an agreement between with Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in August 2019.
The PPCWD is also conducting a survey to declare the water source for WSIP II as protected area with the help of USAID and other government agencies.
“We have an ongoing survey para ma-declare as protected area ‘yong pinagkukunan natin ng tubig, sa ngayon siya ay isang undeclared watershed area. Wino-workout namin, meron kaming workshop with USAID, ‘yong safe waters together with City ENRO, marami kami nagwo-workshop to come with an Integrated Watershed Management Plan para sa Montible,” he said.
“If matapos ang kanilang ginagawa, magkakaroon tayo ng dokumento na hawak na i-request natin sa DENR o sa City ENRO na i-declare siya as watershed area. Once na ma-declare ‘yan, i-request naman natin na i-devolve ‘yong pag-protect dito sa LGU and after sa LGU, i-devolve ulit sa Water District. Just like Irawan watershed, meron tayong isang division na ang trabaho lang ay mag-protect ng ating watershed area,” he added.
Laurel as new GM
Laurel assumed his position on February 1, marking his 15th year of service at the PPCWD. Former general manager Antonio Jesus Romasanta has retired on the last working day of December 2020. The Board of Directors (BOD) adopted a resolution appointing him as new general manager on January 25, which took effect on February 1.
At first, Laurel did not apply for the post but his fellow managers and job order workers endorsed him through the Employees’ Association. He later filed the application along with two other applicants inside and outside the PPCWD.
For 15 years, Laurel served as senior corporate manager, held the Human Resource department and Finance department.
From his point of view, helping the employees to boost their morale through promotion after seven years made the employees decide to endorse him for the position.
“First thing, napataas ko ang morale ng mga empleyado kasi for so many years, wala kaming promotion dito. Maraming problema sa loob na hindi kami nakapag-promote ng employees for seven years pero noong binalik ako sa HR to hire more employees and to promote deserving employees, nagawa ko naman,” he said.
“Nakita ng board na tinrabaho ko yon, ang daming na-promote kaya siguro natuwa sila sa akin, ini-endorse nila ako,” he said.
On July 2019, Laurel returned to HR from Finance department and prioritized the promotion of deserving employees along with fixing the organizational structure, which was submitted to (DBM). About a hundred of employees were promoted and appointed as regular employees.
“Last July 2019 ay bumalik ako sa HR and then we worked on what is required from us, mag-promote ng mga empleyado. Nagka-pandemic, inuna namin ‘yong aming organizational structure, inaprubahan ng Department of Budget Management, noong December 2019, nag-publish kami ng vacant positions. After that nag-interview na, nag-promote na kami. First batch of promotees and new appointees ay July 1 nag-take effect last year. Close to a hundred employees ang na-promote and na-in as regular employee,” he said.