TACLOBAN CITY, March 2 (PNA) -– The Local Water Utilities Authority (LWUA) has requested additional PHP332.46 million funds to establish a water supply system for relocation sites in the northern part of the city, up for implementation in the next two years.

In a letter to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) dated Feb. 23, 2016, LWUA Administrator Andres F. Ibarra said their agency adjusted the cost of the project due to “changes in the scheme of water source and length of transmission of pipelines.”

Citing their rapid assessment, the LWUA asked for PHP194-million outlay, but after the actual survey, they found out that more funds are needed to establish the water supply.

“LWUA has already conducted line and profile survey which was completed in December 2015. LWUA personnel are presently conducting pipe alignment in this city in order to finalize the design,” Ibarra said.

NEDA Regional Director Bonifacio Uy said the national government has set aside this year about PHP130 million to LWUA for the project.

“Hopefully, the construction will start soon now that part of the budget has already been disbursed. The timeline is two years,” Uy added.

The LWUA is expected to award the project to a contractor. Civil works will be supervised by the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD), a provincial government-owned firm that supplies water to more than 20,000 households in the city.

The water project for unserved areas in the city are intended for more than 14,000 families from coastal communities to be relocated to Cabalawan, New Kawayan, San Isidro, Sto. Niño, Camansihay, Salvacion and Tagpuro.

“It will also benefit about 5,000 families within the villages where transmission pipelines will be installed,” said LMWD information officer Ma. Teresa D. Pascua.

Out of the city’s 138 villages, 16 of these are categorized as “unserved” by the LMWD, the city sole water service provider.

The project will tap the existing four LMWD dug wells in San Agustin and San Pedro villages in Jaro town. The LWUA-funded project will also drill four more wells to meet the 30 gallons per day per person requirement in target communities.

Transmission pipelines will be set up in a 30-kilometer road network in the towns of Jaro, Pastrana, Sta. Fe and northern part of the city.

The NEDA asked for the funding support from the Office of the President considering that the local water district has no financial capability to push through the project. (PNA)