Marinduque gov Velasco lauds upcoming desalination project


Former Supreme Court Justice now Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. has cited an upcoming project designed to ultimately bring an end to Marinduqueños’ decades-old problem of inadequate potable water supply.

Velasco was referring to a recently concluded bidding and award between the Marinduque Water District and the Pasig City-based Peak Off-Grid Innovations and Solutions for the establishment of modern facilities designed to deliver some 29,200 cubic meters of drinkable water daily to meet the islanders’ demand for personal, household, and irrigation purposes.

The facilities boast an uninterruptible supply of potable water using Finnish desalination technology running on pure solar power.

The awarding ceremony was held on Friday, March 10, at the Marco Polo Hotel on Ortigas Ave. in Pasig. The governor, along with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Vice Governor Lynn Angeles, and Finnish Ambassador to the Philippines Juha Markus Pyykkö witnessed the ceremony.

“I am pleased that this unique Finnish technology is offering solutions to the challenges of the people of Marinduque. Finland’s water expertise is world class,” said Ambassador Pyykkö.

Governor Velasco viewed the event as “a game changer” for his constituents who have been grappling with acute potable water supply shortage over the decades.

“We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and soon enough, our water woes will be over,” he said.

The multimillion-peso project involves the construction of distributed desalination facilities that could convert raw seawater into fresh potable water safe for drinking and other household needs, as well as irrigating farmlands.

The project combines solar desalination technologies with freshwater management, efficient storage facilities, and tapping rainwater to boost the supply chain.

Marinduqueños have long been battling with the seemingly insurmountable problem of water supply shortage, exacerbated by a long drought that hit the northern municipality of Santa Cruz and parts of the capital town of Boac.

The death of the island-province’s main waterway, the Boac river, due to poisoning of mine tailings unleashed by a mountain pit of Marcopper Mining further aggravated their sufferings.

The tragedy, considered as the worst environmental disaster in the country, deprived the people of a fresh source of water and livelihood for those inhabiting the riverbanks.

“Since tapping the Boac River is not an option for the time being, we have the sea surrounding our province as an inexhaustible alternative,” Governor Velasco said.