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Safe, accessible drinking water at Jail Annex

BARELY two months into his position as Jail Warden at the Davao Cty Jail Annex in Maa, JSInsp. Reinzon Roullo has done what he humbly described as “small things” with great impact.

The tank that will soon be part of the system that will provide purified water to the Jail Annex and nearby Jail facilities in Maa City. Photo by Manman Dejeto

Roullo, 29, brought to his new station best practices he has developed in his two-year stint at Montevista Jail in Davao De Oro during the time of the global health pandemic.

The first thing he worked on was to clean the premises of the jail, including overhauling the septic tank to eradicate the stench that permeated inside the facility. He also worked with a paint company to whitewash and paint the walls of the facility. Visual artists were tapped to paint murals, making the surroundings pleasant and fresh.

In the same month, he also noticed that the volume of water going through the Jail Annex came in trickles as the water line passing through the City Jail Male Dormitory is servicing 2,800 inmates. As a result, there was erratic water pressure and frequent water interruption.

JSInsp Roullo said the deep well will provide ample water supply to the Jail Annex. Photo by Manman Dejeto

He thought of replicating his Montevista project of a deep well to provide access to clean water to the 900 PDLs in the facility at the same time drastically cut water bills of the faciity.

“Access to clean and potable water is a basic need,” Roullo said, “especially at the Jail Annex where the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) are sickly and elderly.” 

The 60-meter deep well was finished on the first week of October and underwent system tests within the month. As the deep well started its operations, Roullo said that on the second week of October, they received donations of stainless water tanks and a complete set of a 24-stage water filtration equipment.

This is the next phase of the water project at the Jail Annex.

A water refilling station, according to Roullo, will somehow level the playing field in the facility. He has seen that while BJMP officers and employees are drinking purified water, the PDLs are drinking water direct from the faucet.

“Someday, I will make (purified) water fair to all.  Every PDL should have access to safe and purified water. The Jail Annex is for sickly PDL and they need more care. Purified water will improve their health and wellness,” Roullo said.

A concept paper on the benefits of a water refilling station is being studied by the Jail Warden. 

It highlights that a water refilling station is environment friendly as it reduces plastic footprints and promotes better health with the availablity of good quality drinking water that encourages people to reduce their consumption of fizzy drinks.

The Jail Annex spends an average of Php15,000 to Php20,000 purified water per month from an outside supplier. The sale of purified water would result to a savings of 67%, bringing down the cost of water per cannister from Php30 to Php 10. 

The jail warden looks forward to supplying the neighboring jails – Male Dormitory, Women’s Jail and the BJMP Regional Office with purified water at a lower price. This will generate income that will support other projects of the Jail Annex, as well.

The savings will fund specifically the purchase of solar energy panels to be used as an alternative source of electricity, thereby reducing electricity generation charges.

“In this way, we can help our government save money to create more programs that will change the lives of all Filipinos,” Roullo said.




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