Handover of water system built by indigenous peoples in Looy

Households and schools will benefit from a new water system built by Teduray, a group of indigenous peoples under ILO Water and Sanitation Project funded by the Government of Japan in Looy, South Upi, Maguindanao.

Indigenous peoples, the Teduray and community members built the new water system in Looy. Photo by ILO/R. Pablo
About 500 households and 1,169 school children will benefit from the new level II water system constructed by the indigenous majority community (Teduray) of Barangay Looy, South Upi, Maguindanao under the ILO Japan Water and Sanitation Project.

The ILO Project Team, and BARMM regional and local government officials
MOLE Minister Romeo Sema, BARMM officials, and the project team in the handover ceremony of the new water system to indigenous peoples. Photo by ILO/R. Pablo
led by the Project Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) chair and Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) Minister Romeo Sema and Upi Mayor Reynalbert Insular joined the handover held on 21 June 2021.
Director Khalid Hassan of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines and Chargé d'Affaires Masahiro Nakata of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines inspired the community through video messages. “ILO ensures that fundamental principles and rights at work, working conditions and livelihoods of indigenous men and women are promoted as an integral part of inclusive and sustainable development” said Director Khalid Hassan of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

Prior to this project, residents of Barangay Looy relied heavily on unsafe sources such as dug wells, rivers, streams and rain. Using local-resource based (LRB) approach, the water system was built by 250 local workers, 30 per cent of them are women and are mostly from the indigenous tribe, Teduray.
Workers were paid based on the minimum wage, and provided social protection and appropriate personal protective equipment.
The construction of the water system amid the COVID-19 pandemic ensured the safety and health of workers. Photo by ILO/R. Pablo

COVID-19 responsive Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) was observed all throughout the implementation to ensure that the workers are safe and protected from any harm and COVID-19.

The ILO's implementing partner, the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), helped build the capacity and supervised the community contractor, Ke’minanam Luwey Wayeg Association (KLWA).
Indigenous rights, culture and tradition, and their environment were respected and considered in all aspects of the implementation – from the designing phase, implementation and up to the development of Operations and Maintenance Plan and Policies.

The Local Government Unit of South Upi also took ownership of the sub-project in Looy by clearing two (2) kilometres of the long and challenging rough road leading to the water source. This helped the community contractor and workers transport the construction materials easier and made their work more efficient.

This new water system is one of the 11 water sub-projects that are planned to be built under the ILO Japan Water and Sanitation Project. The Project constructs clean and safe drinking water supply and increase accessibility to vulnerable communities while generating productive work. This intervention means that everyone enjoys an equitable access to safe and clean water that will improve dignity and quality of life of target beneficiaries. It will reduce vulnerability to pandemic, improve health and livelihoods by involving men and women in the management of the systems.

Video message bybChargé d'Affaires Masahiro Nakata of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines during the launch.
“We envision Mindanao, particularly the Bangsamoro Region, as a bedrock of peace, development and stability. I have faith that this project brings us much closer to this goal”- shared Chargé d'Affaires Masahiro Nakata of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

A Tree Planting Activity, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy – BARMM (A member of the PARC), was also conducted during the turnover ceremonies. This is part of the initiative to increase the awareness of the community to protect the environment to ensure the sustainability of the water system. The Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs also shared how water, the environment and the indigenous cultures and traditions are closely linked to each other.

Tree planting to protect the environment and ensure sustainability of the water system. Photo by ILO/R. Pablo

For further information please contact:

Ms Ma Jennylyn Aguinaldo
ILO Japan Water and Sanitation Project