Clean Drinking Water for Polillio Island
The Barangays Bonifacio, Mabini and Rizal were once called the one Magdalo Barangay in Polillio Island, Quezon Province of our country. Their community is located facing the Pacific Ocean that places them in an isolated area near the Pacific Ocean. They are regularly prone to be affected by passing typhoons that enter the Philippines many times in a year. To visit there, one has to take five hours of bus ride from Legarda, Manila City to Infanta, Quezon. After the land trip one would take another 6 hours of motorboat ride to Brgy. Bonifacio, Burdeos where the Bonifacio National High School is located for the three poor neighboring barangays. There are about 2, 500 families in the areas and 1,200 enrolled students. Their sources of income are from banana farming, copra making, and fishing. In terms of community health condition, there are no resident doctors or nurses in the area. There is no ready safe drinking water also. Like other unattended villages, there is no electricity and telecommunication facility in the area. The school lacked chairs, cabinets, tables, and books.
The Christian community is under the Catholic Prelature of Infanta. The parish priest who resides in the town of Burdeos would visit only the communities to preside the Holy Mass during their annual fiesta. The faith life of the community needs formation and inspiration. Only these past two years, the communities had experienced for the first time Holy Week liturgies. We have also initiated Income Generating Projects in partnership with Caritas Margins of the Archdiocese of Manila who gave the training for cooking and accounting. The community now is selling export quality Banana Chips, Spanish style Bottled Tuna, and Wild/Sour Honey. Furthermore, for 3 years the Medical-Dental Mission Team of San Juan de Dios Hospital and St. Vincent de Paul Clinic have served approximately 1,500 patients.
This year we sought to address the need for clean water for the community. At present, the residents would buy a container of purified mineral water from Infanta town and to be transported to their barangay for 70 pesos. The medical teams and Barangay Health workers have noted that individuals regularly suffer from diarrhea, UTI, cholera, hepatitis, and kidney stones. In this regard, we requested for partners to assist us procure a Solar Powered Water Purification System for the use of students in the elementary schools in the area and later for all the families.
The Kohler Clarity Water Filter and Niwa Solar Lighting Kit provided by Power 4 All is one good big step toward better health and wellness for small kids in Brgy. Bonifacio. The donations were received by the Kinder School Teacher witnessed by parents and pupils during the first day of their classes in June 2018. They use it during classes and even in their feeding program. The solar lights are also utilized by mothers cooking banana chips and by some barangay officials during evening activities.
Recently we have discovered two spring water sources in two barangays about three kilometers away from the village. We can draw from each source at least 50 drums (about 10,400 liters) of pure spring water in a day. The water is cool and non-salty. We hope to set up here a bigger water purification system for the whole village and neighboring islands. This could be the future Polillo Pure Spring Drinking Water that can be managed by the local cooperative with due assistance of the Local leaders and funding partners. Thank you so much, Power 4 All, for your generosity. May God bless us always in our initiatives for the welfare and empowerment of marginalized Filipinos near the Philippine Rise!
We hope to prevent more water borne diseases in the area by providing purified drinking water especially for the young and older persons.
Maraming Salamat po!
FR. JOSELITO S. SARABIA, CM, RGC
HON. LEODEGARIO SANTIDAD
Barangay Bonifacio, Burdeos, Quezon