Affordable potable water for the island residents of Hilantagaan
posted  06-09-2016 by Rona Ramos

Although the islet of Hilantagaan in Bantayan Island Northern Cebu has an existing water system, residents are limited to the amount of water they can use, collect and store due to 1) Hilantagaan Water System only provides water on two shifts – 8:00am and 5:00pm, 2) fresh potable water which residents use for day to day activities and purified drinking water are too expensive for each household, 3) limited potable water supply being sold in the island by boat operators who also served as water vendors.

Hilantagaan Island is a 15 minutes boat ride from the main Bantayan Island and from the port of Sta. Fe with an average monthly income of Php 3,000 to 4,000 pesos and fishing and farming as main livelihood sources.

Quick Facts:

HH Average Monthly Water Expenditure
Php 1500 pesos
Boat Operators/Water Vendors Monthly Income – Php 2,100
HH Minimum daily water consumption
100 liters = 5 containers
Average cost per water container
Php 5.30

Here households pay Php 10 to 15 pesos per container- which is a 20 liter jerry can for their daily water usage for cooking, bathing, laundry and drinking sold by boat operators who buy tap water from a household in mainland Bantayan at the price of Php 2 pesos per container. Each boat operator can serve 3 to 5 household with minimum 5 containers per household daily depending on their available containers and the household available cash for that day. Boat operators make an average of two trips per day with 15 to 20 containers per trip. For purified drinking water households pay Php 35 pesos per container.

In order to ensure and improve water quality and reduce the cost of potable water on the household, Oxfam through its market –based WASH program has supported the boat operators in 1)getting water credits through Bantayan Water System for a metered tap stand specifically installed for them in Barangay Sillon, Bantayan which they will pay on a monthly basis. 2) facilitated service agreements between Pure Serv Plus a water refilling station in Sta.Fe and boat operators for  a. water credits of a minimum of 50 containers per day at a reduce price of Php 15 pesos per 20 gallon container b. distributorship agreement which accredits the boat operators as its water retailers for the island of Hilantagaan. 3) support on storage facilities and additional containers where boat operators can store water in bulk, reducing the number of trips made daily which add up to the cost per container.

With these support residents of Hilantagaan can now expect to buy potable water at Php 8 pesos per container and purified water at Php 25 pesos with the quality of water assured.

Household tap water source in Sta.Fe, Bantayan Island where boat operators and residents buy potable water.

Water refilling station in Sta.Fe where boat operators will have service agreements and distributorship contract.

Jonathan Ballorka, one of the boat operators/water vendors with his boat. He have a total of nine containers which he used to buy and sell water to his neighbors in Hilantagaan. His boat has a maximum capacity of 15 containers but on bad weathers it is difficult for him to make the trip to Bantayan, additional containers and  storage drums are what he need to lower the cost of transportation and that also would allow him to sell more .