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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

A solar-powered water supply project and six solar-powered irrigation systems will be constructed starting this month in Taraka, Lanao del Sur where residents have relied on small river that meanders through the town center on its way to Lake Lanao.

The Taraka Solar-Water Supply and Irrigation is the first project to be implemented under the Mindanao Water Supply Program which was launched on Dec. 6 last year and aims to provide water for drinking and agriculture in all areas in Mindanao.

The Taraka Solar-Water Supply and Irrigation project, unlike other government programs, is funded wholly by the local government unit through a loan P215-M provided by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The Mindanao Development Authority, in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Interior and Local Government, initiated the program to address the water needs of communities, both for drinking and agriculture.

This is actually a modified version of the Solar-Powered Irrigation System Project which I conceptualized and implemented when I was Secretary of Agriculture which aimed to provide irrigation water to farming areas all over the country.

With limited funding support, the SPIS Program of the Department of Agriculture was only able to build over 100 units in several areas of the country.

The MinDAWater Supply Program will be implemented through a policy of self-reliance among the LGUs which are more flexible in starting projects compared to the national bureaucracy.

On Jan. 20, DBP President Emmanuel Herbosa and I, as Chairman of MinDA, will lead the groundbreaking of the projects following the approval and release of the LGU loan last year.

When completed, the Taraka Solar Water Supply and irrigation Project will provide safe drinking water to the town's 25,000 population and irrigation to an estimated 600 to 1,000 hectares of farmlands located in the periphery of Lake Lanao.

Other Mindanao LGUs have already signified their intent to join the MinDAWater Supply Program.

Watch the full video below:

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