Diadi: The Little Town That
By Teodoro Reynoso / Photos by Rey Vida
Diadi town hall features a tilapia-decorated fountain, highlighting
the municipality's growing base of income
the last town of Nueva Vizcaya bordering Isabela is one of those
rustic, laid-back towns that travelers almost unnoticeably pass
by on their way to the northern provinces of Cagayan Valley. Its
town proper is so small that travelling by bus at night, you won't
even notice that you have gone past it except when you have co-travellers
who are specifically bound for the place.
of progress amidst Diadi town's very rural setting is evident
in this distribution pipe crossing a creek
there is really nothing perceptibly special or remarkable about
the place except for the fact that like the frontier town of Sta.
Fe on the Nueva Ecija border, it is mountainous, has lushier and
greener environment accounting for cooler temperature especially
in the morning and towards the evening. From where we were billeted
at the scenic and breath-taking Punta Amelia Resort in nearby Cordon
town in Isabela during our recent brief visit, we could immediately
feel the change in temperature as soon as we entered the Diadi boundary.
there is more to its still relatively intact natural environment
and its refreshingly cooler ambiance and its friendly and hospitable
folk that offers ready smile and helping hand to anyone that would
come to visit or stay in Diadi for whatever good purpose it may
WELCOME TO CHANGE
Mayor Norma Miguel leads a municipality whose hardworking population
(below) is not averse to change and experimentation
here is a little, unassuming community that is not averse to change
and experimentation. Fact is, its people not only welcome but seem
to crave for such, challenged and motivated as they seem to be by
the challenge and the expectations.
demonstrated this when Diadi after almost a decade of trying and
striving, finally attained the distinction as the first and only
municipality in the whole water-rich province of Nueva Vizcaya to
adopt and embrace the water district concept and practice its principles
in the development, management, operation and maintenance of its
local water supply system.
could argue that Diadi was only constrained to adopt the water district
concept and system in view of the fact that access to water in the
municipality , being upland and mountainous is not as easy as in
the lowland communities of the province as the capital town of Bayombong
and the booming market town of Solano.
the comparative difficulty in access to available water sources
and resources only serves to even challenge, motivate and fortify
the resolve of the fledgling Diadi Water District (DIWAD) and the
local government as well as the people of the town to assume a pro-active,
forward-looking stance in the development of the local water supply
with the end-goal of achieving lasting sustainability and security
in this vital element.
DIWAD now can also be considered as perhaps the first and only small
water district in the country that is essentially and practically
approaching water supply development not just from the stand point
of from water source-to-faucets but from virtually watershed-to-faucets!
It helps that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) officials and operatives assigned to area, the province and
the region are only too well aware of the extreme importance of
nurturing, protecting and preserving the watersheds in attaining
long-term water source and supply sustainability and security.
was these DENR authorities together with the corporate social responsibility-conscious
people from the National Power Corporation (NPC) operating the local
Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant that initiated and played key roles
in the bayanihan-type efforts that eventually led to the development
of Diadi's first modern water supply system in 2007.
THE WATER SYSTEM
was as early as 1997 that the first attempt at developing the Diadi
water supply system was started under the then administration of
Mayor Norma U. Miguel, incidentally also now the sitting hizzoner,
when a technical team from the Local Water Utilities Administration
(LWUA) came to determine the feasibility and viability of establishing
water supply services in the town in accordance with the provision
of Provincial Water Utilities Act or the LWUA-Water District Law.
Water District's elevated steel reservoir, above, and its distribution
Efforts were made in the ensuing years to come up with cost-effective
and financially-sound program to provide for the immediate improvement
of the system that resulted to the following:
The construction/installation of the water tank/reservoir which
was funded by the NPC under the provision of Energy Regulation
2. Source development/Well Drilling that was funded by the Countrywide
Development Fund of then Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., and
3. Pipeline component funded by a loan by the Diadi LGU from the
Developemnt Bank of the Philippines (LBP) under its LGU Support
On February 13, 2006, the Sangguniang Bayan of Diadi passed a resolution
creating the Diadi Water District to provide safe, potable and adequate
drinking water supply to residents of the municipality.
Diadi LGU and the DIWAD forged a Memo of Agreement for the LGU to
turn over the watr supply facilities for the operation and management
of the water district and to amortize the corresponding LBP loan
to the LGU.
Chairwoman Rebecca Abella
June 2006, the DIWAD Board of Directors through the assistance of
the LGU's Human Resources Management Office opened the position
for the water district's first officially-appointed general manager
who turned out to be a young engineer named. Manolito Supnet who
at first worked as a volunteer because there was no funds yet for
his salary. The DIWAD Board likewise asked then Mayor Marvic Padilla
for an office space within the LGU compound. The LGU gave authority
for the DIWAD to use a vacant stall located at the nearby public
market as temporary office.
March 2, 2007, the DIWAD requested the DENR through the then Regional
Executive Director Clarence L. Baguiat for permit for the water
district's use of the abandoned open pit excavation, construction
of a 10 meters X 10 meters fenced pumphouse, slope and erosion control
riprap and pipeline and power-line right of way in a portion of
a lot northwest of the national road within the DENR Experimental
Forest Reserve at Barangay Bugnay. Initial survey of the location
was conducted with the assistance of the LWUA technical personnel
to evaluate the discharge of water from the available spring source
during that summer season.
Diadi Water District Office looks humble, but inside it works
employees who have dedicated themselves to service and supported
by an expanding base of loyal paying customers (below)
May 2007, DIWAD started to hire additional people to fill its technical
section, particularly the position of pump operator, meter reader/
plumber to work with the LGU in installing the transmission and
distribution lines and the service connections and its commercial
section to help in the preparation of needed data and documents
in establishing the water district. On volunteer status, Joel Ramos
was appointed to the technical position while Roanne Marantan and
Racquel Dulnuan were appointed as cashier and bookkeeper, respectively.
The bookkeeper of the nearby Cordon Water District assisted in the
training of DIWAD commercial staff.
to the then still minimal collection from the then less than a hundred
service connectors, the DIWAD asked the LGU for the continued electric
power subsidy until the end of 2007.
By August 2007, GM Supnet received his first salary of P8,000.00
and the three staff were rated on daily basis.
composite team from the DENR,the LGU and DIWAD headed by DENR Regional
Technical Director for Research Wilfredo C. Malvar assessed the
requested area in the Experimental Forest Reserve and found out
that a bigger area must be allocated for the inclusion of a watershed
for development to ensure the sustainability of water supply for
the water system project.
November 22, 2007, an exploration team from LWUA headed by Engr.
Romeo M. Diaz together with DIWAD personnel conducted a survey of
the possible site of the proposed sedimentation/collection tank
and the location of the transmission pipelines.
A handful but dedicated statt
December 2007, DIWAD availed of P5 million loan from LWUA for additional
water sources in the vicinity of Barangay Bugnay to ensure the sustainability
of water supply for the growing number of consumers in Barangays
Poblacion and Bugnay to include the development of spring and river
infiltration structures, construction of treatment and collection
tank, laying and installation of transmission and distribution pipelines,
Installation of service connection and other appurtenances
January 3, 2008, DIWAD hired private surveyor to locate the technical
description of a 10- hectare lot within the experimental forest
reserve located at Barangay Bugnay which is necessary in the establishment
of the Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR, the LGU and the
Part of Diadi's forested land
January 25, 2008, the DIWAD Board requested Mayor Marvic S. Padilla
to permit the LGU-Diadi Bids and Awards Committee as interim Bids
and Awards Committee relevant to the DIWAD LWUA-ICG Funded project
for the construction of spring source development, sedimentation/collection
tank, service connections, pipelines and related works.
April 3, 2008, the DENR, LGU & DIWAD formally signed a MOA for
the 10 hectares watershed area.
supply of transmission and distribution pipes was awarded to the
winning bidder and the excavation and laying of materials was administered
by the district and on October 2008, the P5.0M LWUA-ICG Fund project
April 27, 2009 the DENR thru its Upland Development Program (UDP)
awarded 10 hectares reforestation project to DIWAD within the Ganano
Watershed located at Bugnay, Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya adjacent to the
previously awarded 10 hectares watershed area.
of the heavy rain brought by typhoon Emong last May 8, 2009, the
intake spring source was heavily damage and the water supply was
shut down for almost a week. The management thru its DIWAD Internal
Generated fund rehabilitated the damage river intake to normalized
the operation of the district and constructed a 4 stage filtration
tank to ensure the safety of the consuming public .
the occurrence of El Nino Phenomenon in the country from December
2009 to July of 2010 that dried up the spring source and stop the
operation of the deepwell source, the DIWAD requested the LWUA for
a P2.385M Emergency Calamity Loan for the development of additional
water source to mitigate the ill effect of the said El Nino Phenomenon
and sustain water service to the 320 active concessionaires. The
said Loan was release on April 5, 2010 payable in 10 years which
will start on October 2010.
August 2, 2010. The DENR thru the Provincial Environment and Natural
Resources Office grant the cutting permit to the DIWAD for the G-Melina
tress around the new pumping station for the construction of a multi-purpose
hall at the Pinagbalitukan watershed area.
September, a survey team of the DENR with DIWAD staff, explore the
Magat experimental reserve to identify a 30 hectares area for the
establishment of an Agroforestry project in the watershed area.