“Ito ‘yung pinakamalalim sa lahat, lampas tao dito. Hindi kami makalabas. Hindi ka puwedeng tumawid—'yung agos malakas. Malaking epekto nito. Nagtitinda kami sa harap ng school. Pati ‘yung mga tinda namin, nadala (This must be the deepest flood water that we have ever experienced—as if taller than an average person. We cannot get out of our houses nor even cross the streets because the current is strong. This has a huge effect on us. Since we are vendors, most of our products were carried away by flood),” said Raquel Rafael, school vendor and resident of Barangay Magsaysay, Dinalupihan, Bataan for almost 52 years. Raquel’s family is only one among the tens of thousands that were submerged in flood caused by Tropical Depression Josie.
As a response to the calamity brought about by the heavy rainfall, Manila Water Foundation (MWF), through its Agapay Para sa Barangay (APSB) program, deployed a total of 2,741 pieces of five-gallon bottled water benefitting 13,705 individuals across Dinalupihan in Bataan, Calasiao and Sta. Barbara in Pangasinan, and Masantol in Pampanga.
Roberto Macunat, Barangay Captain of Magsaysay, Dinalupihan, Bataan, expressed his gratitude for the distribution of bottled water. “Napakalaking bagay po nitong [tubig inumin] para sa mga ka-barangay namin (This is a huge help for our fellow residents in this barangay),” he thanked. “Yung iniigiban po naming inumin [ay] ‘yung naputol pong linya ng tubig—itong luma po naming linya diyan. Diyan po lahat halos kumukuha ng inumin, kaya lang [mahirap ang] pagpila kaya hirap po kami [makakuha ng] tubig. Napakalaking tulong po ng Manila Water Foundation para po sa pagdi-distribute ng tubig (Our drinking water comes from a malfunctioning old water line. Almost all of us get our drinking water there. However, because of the long lines, it’s difficult to get water. Hence, Manila Water Foundation’s distribution of drinking water is a huge help for us).
Provinces of Bataan and Pangasinan and select municipalities in Pampanga were declared under state of calamity last July. Local government units conducted rescue operations and sought for assistance in the affected areas.
APSB operations in the abovementioned areas were made possible through the assistance of Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) - North Luzon Regional Business Development and Calasiao Water. MWPV is a staunch partner of the Foundation in disaster response outside the East Zone of Metro Manila, specifically in the provision of financial support, technical assistance, logistical requirements, and volunteer mobilization.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Corporate Office also extended their assistance by providing transportation for the distribution of the water gallons. Manila Water Foundation (MWF) recently strengthened its relationship with the OVP as they formalized their partnership on disaster response aimed at bringing immediate help for displaced Filipino families throughout the country. Meanwhile, MWSS, through Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, requested water assistance from Manila Water Foundation for the displaced families in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.