LANDBANK distributes water filtration systems to Yolanda-hit community in Tacloban

Friday, April 7, 2017

LANDBANK, together with partners Waves for Water and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, distributes portable water filtration systems and water tanks to 57 families in Villa Diana, Brgy. North Kawayan, Tacloban City.

Fifty seven families in Villa Diana in Tacloban City, Leyte who lost their homes to super typhoon Yolanda in 2013 were given access to clean drinking water through LANDBANK’s Gawad KATUBIGAN program.  

Led by LANDBANK Director Victor Gerardo Bulatao, the Bank turned over 57 water filtrations systems and four rain catchment tanks to Villa Diana, one of the government’s housing projects in the city.

“This is part of our commitment to be of service not only to our clients but to the Filipino people. And we at LANDBANK, as well as our partners, believe that disaster preparedness is one area that we really have to focus our efforts on since we are frequently hit by typhoons, especially this region,” Bulatao said.

Gawad KATUBIGAN or KAakibat na TUlong sa Bayan para sa Inuming KailanGAN is one of LANDBANK’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs implemented in partnership with Waves for Water (W4W) – a US-based international NGO that supplies the water filtration systems – and with the support of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).

Initially a disaster response program, Gawad KATUBIGAN launched its disaster preparedness component last year to include knowledge transfer, especially to community leaders and health workers, on how to use and maintain the water filtration systems. The program hopes to empower community leaders as overseers of the filtration systems that are vital especially in times of calamities.

Tacloban City is the last of the three pilot rollout sites for the Gawad KATUBIGAN Phase 1 – along with Baguio City and Coron, Palawan – being one of the areas in Visayas usually hit by typhoons. Villa Diana is also a PDRF-assisted community under its program called BREACH or Building Resilient & Economically Adept Communities & Households.

Gawad KATUBIGAN was successfully rolled out in Baguio City and Coron, Palawan respectively in October and November 2016 wherein a total of 305 water filtration systems were distributed and six rain catchment tanks were installed.

“Through these rollouts and community development implementations, we have reached 37 cities and municipalities. We look forward to reaching more communities as we bring clean drinking water to, hopefully, every Filipino,” W4W Philippines Country Director Carlo Delantar said.

Disaster response

Under the program’s disaster response component, LANDBANK and its partners have distributed a total of 310 water filtration systems to 32 cities and municipalities heavily affected by strong typhoons Lando and Nona in 2015, and typhoons Ferdie, Lawin, and Nina in 2016. The program has so far benefitted more than 31,000 individuals.

In February, 70 water filtration systems were also distributed to 7,000 residents in 15 barangays affected by the magnitude-6.8 earthquake that hit Surigao del Norte. According to reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, the recent earthquake caused around P7 million worth of damage in infrastructure, also affecting major sources of clean water. 

LANDBANK also distributed 40 water filtration systems to six typhoon-hit municipalities in Catanduanes and Camarines Sur earlier this year, benefitting roughly 4,000 Bicolanos. Touted as the strongest typhoon to hit the region in the past 10 years, Typhoon Nina battered several Bicol provinces on Christmas day in 2016, displacing thousands and leaving several communities with no access to potable water.

Accredited by the Department of Health, the water filtration systems have the ability to remove 99.99999% of bacteria that cause water-borne diseases such as cholera, salmonella, E. coli, among others. Each water filtration system, which can filter one million gallons of water, can provide clean drinking water for 100 people a day and can last for five to 10 years, if properly maintained.

Gawad KATUBIGAN has won for LANDBANK the “Most Socially Responsible Bank” award for 2016 from the International Finance Magazine in Singapore.