CLARK FREEPORT – More than 110 indigent families, mostly Aetas, at the Clark sub-zone can now enjoy clean and potable water after the Ayala-funded project, in cooperation with the state-owned firm, has recently inaugurated the P6.278 million water facility.
The water facility was jointly funded by Clark Water Corporation (CWC), and Manila Water Foundation (MWF)—both Ayala-owned entities— and Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
The project is located at the mountainous area of the Sitio Haduan, Barangay Marcos Village here and was dedicated in memory of the late newsman Angelo “Sonny” C. Lopez, former manager of Public Relations (now Communications Division) of CDC. During his time, Lopez was a known proponent for the welfare of indigenous people in the local community.
Rommel C. Narciso, assistant vice president for External Affairs for CDC, congratulated the beneficiaries of this project and described the project as “a life changing event” for them.
“This is a joint Corporate Social Responsibility in its truest form, walang hinihintay na kapalit and hopefully makatulong na mapabago at mapaganda ang buhay ng mga taga Sitio Haduan,” Narciso said.
Ferdinand Dela Cruz, president of MWF, said the project started when the community requested for handpump rehabilitation. But after unsuccessful drilling of another deep well, the agencies came up with an alternative solution “through interconnecting CWC’s existing water network.” The complete water supply is inclusive of a pumping station, pipe bridge, over head tank and communal faucet.
“We try to find ways and Clark Water in the end connected the Sitio to the whole Clark Water system. Gumawa tayo ng mahabang pipeline para magkaroon ng tubig ang ating mga katutubo,” Dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz furthered that the project at Sitio Haduan is very meaningful and they were inspired by Lopez’s concern for the Aetas in Sitio Haduan. The water facility, according to him, is CDC, MWF and CWC’s gift to the indigenous people at the said community.
“Kami po ay masaya that we are giving them this gift in memory of our kasamang Sonny Lopez, and sana po alagaan nila itong mahalagang proyekto na ito, ito po ay para sa kanila at sana po ay maipamana nila sana po at maalagaan ng maganda,” Dela Cruz said.
“Definitely, CDC, CWC and MWF and will continue to do many other projects for the community around the areas that we all serve,” Dela Cruz added.
For his part, Atty. Angelo Lopez III, manager, Litigation Division of CDC and son of the late Sonny Lopez, expressed gratitude to CDC, CWC, MWF, NCIP (National Commission for Indigenous People) and the beneficiaries. He said seeing this project materialized, “I am sure he is all smiles in heaven.”
“Nabigyan ng buhay yung pangarap ng aking ama na magkaroon ng magandang buhay ang mga kapatid natin sa Sitio Haduan (It’s putting to life his vision for a better life and everlasting love for the people of Sitio Haduan),”the younger Lopez said.
Residents in Sitio Haduan used to trek more than three-kilometer uphill and downhill to the mainland to get a water from a stream from the nearby sitio.
Sitio Haduan tribal chieftain Roy Tanglao expressed his gratitude to all the agencies that made this project possible and vowed to be responsible stewards of this water project.
“Kaya po kami, nagpapasalamat sa proyektong ito, napaka laking bagay sa amin at hindi na kami magbabaon ng pagkain pababa sa bundok para maka-igib ng tubig duon sa ilog,” he said.
Last year, the more than 500 Aeta residents of Sitio Monicayo in Barangay Calumpang, Mabalacat were entrusted to take charge of the operation and maintenance of the P3.5M deepwell facility, also a joint project of CDC, MWF, CWC in coordination with the regional office of the NCIP in Central Luzon.
Also present during the inauguration are: Alizaido Paras, CDC VP for Admin and Finance, Thelma Ocampo, CDC AVP for Business Development and Business Enhancement; Atanacio Addog, legal officer, NCIP RIII; Maidy Lynne Quinto, general manager, CWC.