Issue of April 7, 2019
     
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Bauko advised to explore ways to revive water station
by Jane B. Cadalig

The water purification station of Bauko, Mountain Province, which used to produce iron-fortified drinking water, has been idled, prompting state auditors to advise the local government unit to explore ways to maximize the facility’s operation.

The Commission on Audit reported that the water station, which was funded by the Department of Science and Technology has stopped operating, depriving the town of revenues.

In its 2018 audit report posted on its website, the COA said the water purification station at Monamon Norte, which was funded by the DOST in 2014 but started operating in 2016, has been idled, based on the financial reports on the facility and based on a site inspection conducted by the COA.

“The non-operation of the water purification station resulted in idle investments and has deprived the municipality of the revenue it can generate from the facility, which can be used for the LGU’s operations,” the COA report stated.

State auditors recommended for the local government to re-evaluate the viability of the water purification station and explore other options by which it could maximize the operations of the facility to earn income.

According to the COA, the water station, which produced bottled water labeled “Paradise Dew,” generated P62,969 in 2016 and P279,794 in 2017. The bottled water processed at the facility was hauled to Abatan, Bauko where it was marketed.

The COA report added that the net profits from sales reached P24,644 in 2016 and P56,922.69 in 2017.

In 2018, however, the COA reported that only P16,910 was remitted to the municipal treasury in February and a review of the facility’s financial performance showed that as of June 15, 2018, the town was collecting P46,869 from the buyer of the bottled water.

The COA reported that Mayor Abraham Akilit informed the team that the LGU will privatize the water refilling station and will designate personnel to monitor its operations.

The water purification station in Bauko is one of the projects funded under the DOST’s community-based fortified water (Tubig Talino) station, which aimed to initiate technology transfer to provide access to safe and iron-fortified water to address iron deficiency and water-borne diseases.


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