P14M aid from Spanish gov’t arrives in Iloilo City

By Maricar M. Calubiran/ PNS

Relief assistance from the Spanish government worth P14 million will arrive in the city today. Mayor Jerry Treñas said the assistance is in the form of water treatment plant and health kits.

The head of the relief department of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation Ma. Eugenia Martin-Sanz Martinez and her team arrived in the city yesterday morning and made a courtesy call with the city mayor.

The Spanish government chartered a plane directly from Spain to the Iloilo airport to bring the equipment and the medical supplies.

Martinez said the water treatment plant which is only for purification process can produce a considerable volume of water every hour that could help address the water shortage being experienced by the city.

The equipment, however, could not process water from rivers just like that of Manila Waters currently being used by Metro Iloilo Water District asit does not have reverse osmosis capacity.

The team met with Mayor Treñas yesterday to discuss the assistance of the Spanish government to the city. The team also expressed concerns relative to the possible surge of different illnesses as aftermath of the flood.

Treñas said the water treatment plant from Spain will be placed at the Jaro gymnasium where hundreds of homeless families from Jaro district are currently housed.

Water tankers will deliver the water that will be processed at the water treatment plant. The City Health Office(CHO) will check the potability of the water before its disposal to the different barangays.

Treñas estimated the assistance from the Spanish government to cost P14 million including the air transportation cost of bringing the equipment and donations to the city.

The medical kit includes pediatric kit for 30 days,trauma kit, obstetric kit, medicine and complementary medical material,supplement against diarrhea, water treatment pills, family hygienal kit and individual hygienical kits

Treñas said the approval of Air Transportation Office (ATO) and Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez relative to the landing of the Spanish chartered plane in Iloilo airport had already been sought. The mayor noted that the landing rights of the Spanish chartered plane needs to be approved though it is intended for relief operations.

Treñas said 70 percent of city residents need water for drinking and other purposes. The bottled water donations are not enough to meet the needs of the Ilonggos particularly in evacuation centers and in every household, he said.

On the other hand, a six-man team from Albay also arrived yesterday. The group headed by Engr. Allain Mape would take charge of the operation of the water treatment plant. The group was sent by Gov. Joey Salceda to train people who will operate the equipment from the Spanish government.

The Spanish government earlier donated a similar equipment to the province of Albay.