Mahintana Foundation, Inc. (MFI), conducted a 2-day Project Management and Facilities Repair & Maintenance Training for Barangay Water and Sanitation Association (BAWASA) last January 30-31, 2011 at the Sun City Suites, General Santos City.  A total of 25 beneficiaries from Barangays Sumbakil, Datal Bob, and Landan participated in the activity, comprising of BAWASA’s Board of Directors and Chairmen as well as Council members of the said barangays.  The water system project, funded by the Lutheran World Relief (LWR), aims to establish and increase the three (3) barangays’ access to potable water.  The training, on the other hand, seeks to educate beneficiaries on the basics of the water system including its design, construction, operation, repair and maintenance, and management.

Activities were carried out using workshops pertaining to Knowing the Facility, Maintenance, and identification of Tools and Fittings with their corresponding uses; familiarizing the BAWASA Organization and its Operation Policies; and Action Planning for the period February 1-December 31, 2011.  The workshops were conducted before the speaker’s discussion on the said topics to gauge the participants’ initial knowledge of the water system facility, their existing organization, the policies governing the water system operation, and assessment of action plans.  Outputs were built on beneficiaries’ knowledge, skills, and experiences, presented at the end of each activity by a representative from each barangay.  These enabled them to share experiences, correct misconceptions and wrong practices, and gain additional information through participants’ cumulative recommendations.

A synthesis on topics and learnings gained concluded the 2-day training.  Some realizations include taking the water’s availability for granted, overlooking its importance and uses, and having inadequate information on the basics of the facility.  Mr. Johnny Alon, a member of the barangay council of Sumbakil, admitted that he only knew ‘yabe tubo’ (pipe wrench) before the training, but enabled him thereafter to identify materials down to it specifics, especially helpful during purchases.

Selected participants were also requested to give their impressions of the training process, facilitator, co-participants, venue, and training as a whole.  Beneficiaries thanked Mahintana and LWR for the conduct of the training, which provided them their first formal training on the subject of the water system.  Kagawad Damatik Sapal of Barangay Datal Bob was sincerely thankful for the opportunity given to them to participate in such trainings, where they gained additional knowledge, met other people, and helped them develop self-confidence.  Barangay Captain Asgar Mangelin of Barangay Sumbakil was hopeful  for a similar training to come while BOD Bartolome Micoy of Barangay Landan, on the other hand, commended Rex Charlie C. Teves, Resource Person of the training, for being well-informed on the subject matter, imparting vital and helpful information to them.

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