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SAMIBUL WATER DISTRICT HISTORY

SAMIBUL Water District came to the lives of the people of San Miguel de Mayumo in August, 1979 when a representative from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) visited Mayor Juan F. dela Cruz to discuss with him, the possibility of organizing a water utility agency in the community, to supply the citizenry with clean and potable water. The visitor oriented the Mayor on the mechanics of organizing the agency as provided in Presidential Decree 198 as amended. The Mayor knowing the very unsatisfactory condition of the Municipal Water system, the financial burden it imposes on the finance of the municipality, the graft and corruption which pervades the system, immediately agreed to the propositions. He immediately called the Municipal Council to a meeting and oriented them on the advantages of having a water system, independent of the Municipal Government.

The members of the Council knowing the very unsatisfactory condition of the Municipal Water System; serving water only two (2) hours in the morning; two (2) hours at noon and two (2) hours in the afternoon; and sometimes none at all when the small old diesel engine breaks down which cause service interruption and services only resumed when repaired, which, more often than not, takes weeks or month to put in condition. They are also well informed of the graft and corruption in the water system: of the illegal connections in politically favored peoples’ houses, of lost receipts and money and lackluster performance of assigned job by the employees. All these weaknesses of the system strongly propelled the council members to action and passed Resolution No. 79A-197 dated December 7, 1979, forming a new water system based on the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 198 as amended. The resolution provided the official name of the new system, the area of its jurisdiction which covers all the barangays of San Miguel and, the transfer of all the properties, records, land, structures, funds and equipment of the municipal water system to the new agency.
The Mayor readily appointed Engr. Constante Agbayani, Mr. Eliseo Cruz, Ms. Fidela Domingo, Mr. Carlos Libunao and Mr. Nicanor Beltran to compose the Board of Directors. Engr. Agbayani was designated Chairman of the Board.

In preparation for the transfer of the Municipal water system to the new agency, the Mayor tasked the Municipal Development Officer to handle the operation of the Municipal Water System; to collect and assemble all records, hold whatever money will come during the interim, and have it ready for transfer to the new water system – (San Miguel Bulacan (SAMIBUL) Water District). 

All the documents in connection with the formation of the new water system were submitted to Local Water Utilities Administration for appropriate action.

Based on the documents, relative to the new water system, Conditional Certificate of Conformance No. 132 was issued on September 12, 1980. The Municipal Water System, after 52 years of existence was replaced by the SAMIBUL Water District.

Engr. Agbayani had a survey of the system. He found it very unsatisfactory with a small old diesel engine which breaks down often, limited water service, and leaking rusty transmission lines. These conditions forced Engr. Agbayani to request for a loan from LWUA. A loan in the amount of P908,527.45 was granted. With the loan, Engr. Agbayani organized the office of SAMIBUL WD in a rented apartment with two (2) employees and a laborer.

The renovation started with the change of the centrifugal pump to submersible pump/motor (10 Hp), the rusty leaking distribution lines changed and the laying out of a new distribution line going to the Municipal market area. To increase the water pressure, the two (2) unutilized wells, one (1) at Payaual Street and another at Buencamino Street, were reactivated.

The search for an Engineer who will be trained as General Manager was started. Paradoxically the speed of employing one who will be trained to be the General Manager was over matched by the speed of resignation of the recruited to be General Manager. The reason for the resignation are the inherited problems from the old system, as the many illegal connections, the irritating habit of some politically favored concessionaires who pay their water bills only when notified and worse, the belligerent attitude of concessionaire found with illegal connections, tampered water meters and/or hidden connections.

The absence of applicants for General Manager forced Engr. Agbayani to personally assume the position of General Manager.
The increasing number of concessionaires necessitated the increase of water pressure so Engr. Agbayani recommended the two (2) unused wells – one in Payawal street and another in Buencamino Street. At this juncture it was discovered that the Municipal Water System has an unpaid bill of P120,000.00 with Meralco. The bill was paid by SAMIBUL WD through another loan from LWUA.

In early ‘90s, Engr. Agbayani felt that there is need for water in barangay Buliran so a loan in the amount of P4,956,696.43 was applied for from LWUA. The Barangay Council of Buliran, with the help of the Municipal Mayor requested that their barangay be given a well. The request of the barangay officials, unfortunately was rejected by the citizens of the place because of the mistaken belief that when a deepwell is dug in a place all the shallow wells around will dry up. Due to the rejection, the projected well in Buliran was transferred to Sta. Rita (B).

The residents of Rosemoor Village, who are suffering from lack of water, due to the unserviceable status of their water system, requested SAMIBUL through the President of the Homeowners Association that their place be served by the SAMIBUL. Without hesitation, SAMIBUL started the process of how the residents will be served. SAMIBUL renovated the water system in the village by changing/replacing the asbestos distribution line, cleaning and repairing the elevated water tank, and changing the rusted dilapidated submersible water pump and motor. The Rosemoor water system was connected to the SAMIBUL main distribution system. The acquisition of the Rosemoor water system contributed to the increased number of concessionaires.

In recognition of the unselfish effort of Engr. Agbayani and his persistent desire to further strengthen and improve the service of SAMIBUL WD, the Board of Directors appointed him as General Manager.

The appointment, unfortunately, after some years was called off by the Civil Service Commission due to the decision of the Supreme Court that Water Districts are government agencies and therefore subject to the coverage of the Civil Service Commission. Engr. Agbayani has passed the upper limit of age for civil servants. Even the appointment as Consultant was not favored.  

To fill the vacancy, the Board appointed Mrs. Brigida “Justie” C. Viola as General Manager (January, 1999) one of the first employee and is well acquainted with the problems of the district.

To honor the request of the barangays on the northern part of the town; Camias, Balite and Salacot, the Board authorized the putting-up of a well in Balite using the accumulated fund of about P10,000,000.00. This newly well boosted the water pressure thus enabling SAMIBUL WD to service barangays Camias, Balite, and Salacot and help raise the pressure in Barangays San Jose and Tigpalas. It also made possible the long delayed plan to extend the service to Buliran and the eastern barangays of Sta. Ines, Calumpang, Tartaro, Sibul and Camp Tecson, the home of the Scout Rangers.

To boost the water pressure in the Camias–Sibul water mainline, General Manager Viola with authorization from the board had a well drilled at barangay Tartaro. The project did not materialize due to the quality of the water produced. To substitute for the Tartaro well a new one was put-up at Calumpang. The well greatly increased the pressure in the Camias–Sibul line. Other wells were drilled at Poblacion, Cambio, San Juan, Bulualto, Pulong Bayabas, Partida, Paliwasan and Bagong Silang.

Today, SAMIBUL personnel can proudly state without fear of contradiction that they have accomplished a lot in bringing pure potable water to a big part of the town of San Miguel and has progress much from the San Miguel Municipal Water System of 1979.

At this writing, SAMIBUL is providing clean and potable water to 32 of the 49 barangays in the municipality, has laid out approximately 114.536 kilometers of distribution pipeline with 10,369 active service connections, sixteen (16) wells, an average monthly earning of P 1,814,667.52 and a total of P 140,914,201.31 worth of property.

SAMIBUL WD is doing its best to achieve their objective of providing safe, adequate and potable water supply at reasonable cost to all the people of San Miguel covering all the 49 barangays. 


Written by:
RAFAEL B. PAYAUAL
Board Member

On October, 2011
(Figures were updated, on July, 2017)