Surigao Metro WD bags Most Outstanding Water District Award
Manila--- Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD), water system operator in Surigao City, Surigao, has been adjudged as the Most Outstanding Water District for the year 2005 during the awards ceremonies capping the recently-concluded national forum between officials of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the country's numerous water districts held at the Manila Hotel in conjunction with the celebration of World Water Day.

SMWD, which is also tops among the country's so-classified as "big water districts", won the most coveted Most Outstanding Water District award given

by LWUA annually since 2004, by besting the water district national winners in the other size categories, garnering a total of 95.52 points out of possible 100 based on six major criteria. It won over the water districts of Bacacay, Albay, national winner in the small category, which garnered 94.4 points; Metro Kalibo (Large WD) with 94.18 points, Tagkawayan, Quezon (Medium WD) with 92.99 points; Dasmarinas, Cavite (Very Large WD) with 91.16 points.; and Sipocot, Camarines Sur (Average WD ) with 89.17 points.

By virtue of its being named as the country's overall best in 2005, the SMWD also automatically bagged the most outstanding water district board chair and general manager awards with SMWD chair Alicia C. Santos and general manager Benjamin R. Ensomo personally receiving the awards from LWUA board and management officials led by Chairman Francisco Dumpit and Administrator Lorenzo H. Jamora.

Arturo Villasan and Romeo Calara, chairman and president respectively of the Philippine Association of Water Districts who spearheaded the more than 500-strong water district delegation who came for the affair from various parts of the country witnessed the awarding proceedings.

The performance and operation of water districts in the previous year were evaluated by LWUA based on six major criteria, namely operating ratio or their capability to generate sufficient revenues to cover operating expenses; billing and collection ratio or their effectiveness in collecting water bills from concessionaires; water quality or their capability to provide potable and safe water; revenue water or optimized use of water produced; served population or the ability of the water district to serve the people in their area of jurisdiction; and service connection-to-employee ratio or effectiveness in the utilization of human resources.

Leading to the announcement of the national winners and the lone winner of the country's most outstanding award, the LWUA also named the outstanding awardees per geographical area in their respective categories. They include the water districts of Guinayangan, Quezon, Bacacay, Albay and Bayugan, Agusan del Sur as outstanding water districts in the small category for Luzon, Bicol-Visayas and Mindanao, respectively; Teresa, Rizal, Sipocot, Camarines Sur and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte (average category); Tagkawayan, Quezon; Gubat, Sorsogon; and Tandag, Surigao del Sur (medium category); Tanza, Cavite and Floridablanca, Pampanga (tied); Camarines Norte and Surigao Metro (big category ); San Jose del Monte City, Metro Kalibo and Metro Kidapawan (large category) and Dasmarinas, Cavite, Metro Cebu and Zamboanga City (very large category).

Apart from the outstanding water district awards, LWUA likewise handed out special awards namely the Integrated Watershed Development Program award that were given to the water districts of IIocos Norte, San Jose City and Munoz in Nueva Ecija; San IIdefonso, Bulacan; San Pablo City, Calamba City, Laguna Metro, Lemery and Rosario in Batangas; Calauag, Quezon; Camarines Norte; Metro Naga, Metro Iloilo, Pandan, Sibalom and Tobias-Fornier in Antique; Metro Cebu, Dumaguete City, Catbalogan City; Bislig City and Tandag in Surigao del Sur; San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Valencia City, Metro Kidapawan, Davao City, Metro Cotabato, Digos, Davao del Sur and Zamboanga City.

The 100 % Service Coverage ( by barangays) award went to the water districts of Sta. Cruz, Laguna; Bato and Pili in Camarines Sur; Dumaguete City, Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Valencia City and Cotabato City while the Outreach Service award went to the water districts of Camarines Norte, Metro Naga and Metro Roxas for their efforts at extending potable water to the depressed, isolated sitios and barangays under their jurisdiction that include a few islets.

Awards were also given to water districts with the lowest non-revenue water or system loss namely Sibalom, Antique (3.15 % non-revenue water), Tanza, Cavite (4%) and Placer, Surigao del Norte (9%); highest collection efficiency namely: Sta Rosa, Nueva Ecija with 99.72 %; La Carlota City (99%), Valencia City and Panabo City, both with 98 % collection efficiency; and lowest operating ratio namely: Camarines Norte and Legaspi City tied for first with 40% operating ratio, San Francisco and Gen. Santos City, both 40 % and Floridablanca, Pampanga, 57 % operating ratio.

Citations were also given to water districts that introduced innovations in their projects or operations, namely: Dingle-Pototan, Iloilo and Valencia City for' fabrication of low-cost water treatment facility for reduction of iron and manganese using local materials; Pandan, Antique for utilization of spring source run-off as source of LGU/WD-operated resort; and Isabela City, Basilan for utilization of idle water source for productive and profitable use.

The Davao City Water District (DCWD) Regional Training Center (RTC) was named the Best RTC of the year.