A town in Lanao del Sur has secured a P218 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines for a three-component water project under the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Water Supply Program.
Although it did not spell out the repayment system of the loan in its press statement, MinDA said the proceeds of the loan for the town of Taraka will establish a potable water system, a solar-powered irrigation system and a fund that will be used to buy farm equipment.
“This poor town beside the vast Lake Lanao will soon build six solar-powered irrigation projects for its rice farmers and a huge potable water system for its residents,” said Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, chair of MinDA.
A portion of the loan, the agency added, will also be used to build roads in the town, particularly those intended to be used in bringing the produce to the market.
MinDA earlier chose the town as its model town for rural development in the province because of its poverty incidence.
Piñol sasid the project will help the town address poverty and “change the lives of the people and make Taraka a model community of self-reliance and rural development.”
Aside from the potable water system, the project will also address the need for an irrigation system for its about 2,000 hectares of rice farms and will make farmers produce at least twice a year from once a year at present because these farms only rely on seasonal rains.
MinDA, Piñol added, will help the town set up a model farm, with a livestock and poultry components, that would tap modern technology to ensure productivity.
“You will now have safe, clean, and potable water. You will also produce rice at least thrice in a year which will also multiply the income of your farmers three times with solar irrigation,” he said.
Taraka Mayor Nashida Gandamra-Sugayan, who submitted the proposal on December 6 when MinDA launched its partnership with DBP for the implementation of the water program, said despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the municipal government will implement the project to ensure that the lives of its residents will change.
“Our long wait is over, and though I am fully aware that we are now being challenged by Covid-19, but our will and motivation to provide our people a chance to have a better life only proves to be greater than this pandemic,” said Sugayan.
Piñol also urged other local government units to join the program to ensure their respective economic growth.
“If you borrow money from the bank, you are actually advancing the development of your municipality for the next ten years. Do not be afraid to borrow because the job of LGU is to collect taxes and bring back these to the people through social services,” he added.