— Oscar M. Lopez
Chairman, Lopez Group Foundation, Inc.
To strengthen the Lopez Group Foundation's (LGFI) advocacy on renewable energy and sustainable access and management to safe drinking water, it has teamed up with another Lopez company ADTEL to forge strategic partnerships with the Local Government Units (LGU) of Iloilo and Guimaras via the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC).
MIGEDC is an inter-LGU alliance of the City of Iloilo and Municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Pavia, Leganes, Sta. Barbara and the Province of Guimaras. It was established to address the emerging problems in these areas brought about by rapid urbanization and the challenges of tourism and economic development. A total of 139 barangays have no access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation services. In some areas where access is present, the quality of water is inadequate.
The LGFI team led by it's president Rafael Alunan III and Program Officer, Russel Solitario traveled to Iloilo with ADTEL's team headed by it's president, Reggie Casas to initiate partnerships with the LGUs there to promote and generate interest on a sustainability program to deliver safe, clean and useable water to their respective constituents.
On the MIGEDC agenda was a presentation by ADTEL about solar and water solutions which primarily targets remote rural areas in the province that are off-grid and where construction of water pipes do not seem viable. An actual demonstration was then conducted, adding mud to tap water from a faucet nearby. This was done to simulate impure water usually coming from deep wells and rivers. After filtration by ADTEL's Aquasol water purifier, the water was visibly clearer and even safe to drink as demonstrated by ADTEL officials and Mayor Rojas from the Municipality of Leganes.
Access to safe and clean water is still below our national targets, however, Public-Private Partnerships such as this will definitely boost and contribute significant improvements to bring this country one step closer to its Millennium Development Goals.