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Waterless Orion folk appeal to governor, PENRO comes to their aid

May 1, 2021 Christian D. Supnad 418 views

ORION, Bataan — Deprived of potable water coming from a natural spring at the foot of Mt. Samat, hundreds of poor families from Bgy. Gen. Lim in this town have appealed to Gov. Abet Garcia to help them get back their water supply, even as the head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) vowed to also help restore their ‘disrupted’ water supply.

In his letter of appeal to Garcia, through Atty. Efren Lizardo, head of Bataan capitol’s legal department, Bgy. Captain Lorenzo Nisperos said the poor condition of the residents in his barangay is further worsened by the deprivation of their water supply.

Nisperos said the agony of his constituents started when their water supply coming from a natural spring at the foot of Mt. Samat, a government-owned and declared historical site, was cut off by the barangay captain of Diwa, Pilar town.

“Since we have no fund from the government these poor families here have contributed an amount to raise the money in purchasing the long pipe from the spring in Mt. Samat all the way to our barangay, only to be cut off by this barangay official; where is their conscience,” lamented Nisperos.

Informed of their lamentable situation, Raul H. Mamac, head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), vowed to help them, saying no one can own a natural water such as spring coming from a state-owned park.

The barangay captain who cut off the water supply has reportedly invoked that the spring water is under the political jurisdiction of his barangay, although this is owned by the national government.

The spring water is actually squandered, however, as it flows directly to the canal and no one benefits from it.

“Itong flowing water na sibul ay natatapon lang naman sa canal, ngunit di namin maintindihan kung bakit masarap sa pakiramdam ni Kapitan sa Diwa na alisan ng tubig na iinumin ‘tong napakaraming tao. Ginastosan namin ng sariling pera ang pinambili ng tubo,” Nisperos said.

Spring water is almost always fine to drink and often contains healthy minerals.

Meanwhile, in his bid to help the residents in Bgy. Gen. Lim, particularly the poor who have long been occupying public lands, Mamac has vowed to help them in processing and securing approval for their long-dreamed land titles.

Mamac assured Nisperos and this writer that he will award their titles provided they have complete documents and have long been occupying those public lands.

Mamac, accompanied by this writer, ascended all the way to this hilly barangay Tuesday upon the invitation of Nisperos to help his constituents avail of titles for land that have long been occupied and enriched by them.

“I will assure you that we’ll grant the land titles you are longing for provided these are not under the coverage of timber land and water shed,” Mamac told Nisperos and the residents here.

Mamac however said those occupants who were issued Certificate of Stewardship cannot be given land titles as this is contrary to law. But he stressed that these occupants can be given another 25 years of occupancy, provided they will improve the land such as planting trees on their occupied lots.

“Just imagine, you’ll be given another 25 long years of occupying the lot, as if you owned it for that long period,” pointed out Mamac.

“We’ll be having a ‘Handog Titulo’ program in this barangay,” Mamac added.