As soon as news of Typhoon Odette’s devastation reached MWSS, it mobilized a team to deploy its mobile water treatment plant (MWTP) in Visayas. As much as MWSS wanted to relieve the victims’ thirst for potable water, delays were unavoidable because most telephone and power poles had been toppled, making coordination with the local disaster coordinating office difficult. Another issue was the transportation points—the airports and ports had been destroyed, making it difficult to transport the MWTP.

The desire to assist our brethren in Visayas, even if it meant that the MWSS team (Team Leader Engr. Jose Escoto, Engr. Wilson Baluca, Engr. Joseph Burdeos, Mr. Wilfredo Gonzales, Mr. Ramil Ochavillo, Mr. Willie De Guzman, and Mr. Cenon Ordoña) will forego their Christmas with their loved ones, was so strong that all logistics had been prepared and were ready to be transported as early as 23 December 2021.  Even with daily coordination with the disaster response officials as to where they will be deployed, it was only in 6 January 2022 that the team was confirmed to travel via the navy vessel going to Cebu.  After 2 days of travel from Cebu to Tagbilaran the team reached Talibon, the hardest hit municipality in Bohol.

The MWSS’ mobile treatment plant can pump from streams and is capable of treating compromised water, recycle floodwater into purified, potable state at a rate of 4,000 liters per hour.   The MWSS team of volunteers have been providing potable drinking water optimally up to 12 hours a day to the most impoverished, practically isolated people in the area.  Matched with “malasakit” and the spirit of “Bayanihan”, MWSS will continue to work closely with the local government in providing clean potable water to the victims of Odette.