DPWH installs rainwater collection system in public schools

A February 1, 2012 press release from the Department of Public Works and Highways

Secretary of Public Works and Highways Rogelio L. Singson has directed DPWH field offices to facilitate the construction of rainwater collection system (RCWS) in public schools nationwide in support of the Aquino administration’s climate change adaptation program as he announced the allocation of P39.6 million this year for the implementation of 547 RCWS units.

The DPWH, as lead agency of a task group on rainwater conservation, has developed prototypes of a rainwater collector system that would harvest, collect, and store rainwater from the roof or from a groundwater catchment or multi-purpose pavement for use during dry season.

Secretary Singson’s directive is in compliance to RA 6716 or the Rainwater Collection and Spring Development Act and Executive Order 774 reorganizing the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change.

Secretary Singson also said that the rainwater collection system for 2011 had an allocation of P38.4 million for 414 RCWS units distributed to district engineering offices nationwide. “Schools without access to potable water facilities are the top priorities for this project. But if there is no qualified public school compound, we can consider public markets as second option,” said Secretary Singson.

To date, the DPWH has already completed 136 RCWS units with 100 units on-going.

“We plan to double the number of schools with these facilities this year to address the lack of water supply in state-run institutions amid the forecast of PAGASA that La Niña is expected to extend up to the first quarter,” added Secretary Singson.

The types of rainwater collection systems constructed are: (1) reinforced concrete ground storage tank with a capacity of 8,000 liters of water; (2) reinforced steel ground storage tank with 4,000 liters capacity; (3) plastic container tank with 4000 liters capacity; and (4) the concrete storage tank with a capacity of 60,000 liters.

In a report, DPWH Region 8 Director Rolando M. Asis reported the completion of 31 projects in various schools in Eastern Visayas.

Among the schools benefited from the project are the following: Higatangan Elementary School in Naval, Biliran; Barangay Candelaria Elementary in Matag-ob, Leyte; Catarman II Central School in Catarman, Northern Samar; Utap Elementary School in Tacloban; Lawaan Central Elementary School in Lawaan, Eastern Samar; San Joaquin Elementary School in Calbayog City; Catbalogan National Comprehensive High School in Mercedes, Catbalogan; and Panan-awan Elementary School in Maasin City.

The project is also part of the government’s efforts to promote water conservation to address the diminishing freshwater supply due to over extraction of groundwater, water pollution, inefficient water infrastructure, and climate change.