COTABATO CITY: The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will soon provide the remote villages and island communities of Mindanao and Palawan with potable sources of water for drinking and irrigation.
MinDa chief Emmanuel Piñol on Friday said his agency and Israeli agro-industrial firm LR Group, with the support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, agreed to design a technical and financial plan to provide Mindanao villages with solar-powered water supply and desalination plants.
The Mindanao Rural Water Supply Program (MinDAWater), which Piñol and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año are both advocating, aims to provide water sources for drinking and agriculture in remote villages and isolated islands.
Piñol said the project would be funded with an initial $500-million loan, which could be directly accessed by local government units (LGU) at concessional rates through local banks.
“We are designing a new scheme in the financing of LGU projects where they could access loan funds through a partnership between the foreign funders and local banks,” Piñol said.
The MinDA Chairman already met with LR Group officias to discuss the details of the program.
The LR Group is the same international agriculture company, which offered to build 6,200 units of solar-powered irrigation system with back-up financing payable in 15 years with a three-year grace period.
The LR Group has already established two prototypes of solar-powered irrigation, which are both linked to a computer system in Lumban, Laguna.
As soon as the financial and technical package of the MinDAWater Program is finalized, LGUs all over Mindanao and Palawan will be invited to the rollout and project implementation, according to Piñol.
Piñol identified water, along with power and rural infrastructure, as the most urgent needs of Mindanao and Palawan to increase productivity and address health concerns.
The rollout of the MinDAWater Program is expected before the end of 2019, he added.