Botolan, Zambales – Twelve (12) water pump stations dubbed as Water for Peace Project were turned over by the 3rd Mechanized Infantry “Makatarungan” Battalion troopers of the Philippine Army (PA) to the aetas of Sitio Lakas, Brgy Villar, Botolan recently.
The “Makatarungan” troopers led by Lt. Col. Roderick Abalbanero of PA made the project possible in partnership with Philippine Week Commission (PWC) and Association of Filipino Freemasons (AFFI) in Illinois led by Marc Jun Ramos together with the local government of Botolan headed by Mayor Doriz Maniquiz Jeresano.
The event started with a Dororo tribal ritual from the aetapriest and elders which included a prayer and offering of live chicken and a liquor to bless the two water pump.
A program followed at Sitio Lakas High School where inlocales entertained their guests by showcasing their tribal dance. Part of the program was the distribution of two trash bins to Sitio Lakas High School, while 150 food packs, 250 slippers, 186 t-shirts, 200 pieces of bread, and 350 packed meals were provided to aetas.
Chieftain Fe Balbin expressed in her remarks that the sponsors were used as instrument of Apo Mallari to provide them their much needed sustainable source of water.
Representatives from PWC and AFFI, Atty Edmund D. Perez of Botolan Sangguniang Bayan, principal and staff of Sitio Lakas High School and Day Care Center, tribal leaders and elders, and residents of the aeta community attended the said event.
The Army’s Water for Peace project aims to provide remote areas with access to sustainable clean water. – Bebot Sison Jr. -