From an initial 200 student-beneficiaries from Rawang Elementary School in Barangay Tandang Kutyo, the Hyundai Rainwater Harvesting Facility is out to scale its reach to other water-challenged areas in Tanay as its partners in sustainability — Hyundai Motor Company (HMC); Better World Korea; Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI); HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI); and the Tanay local government — enter the second phase of their partnership.
Better World Korea, the corporate social value arm of HMC, through HFI, the corporate social responsibility arm of HARI, recently donated a Hyundai HD36 light truck customized into a potable water delivery truck. The formal turnover ceremony took place last Oct. 23 at the Tanay municipal hall. The water delivery truck is expected to be a regular sight in Tanay as it shuttles to and from Rawang Elementary School to collect and deliver potable water to neighboring communities, starting with Barangay Plaza Aldea.
In his welcome remarks, Tanay Mayor Rex Tanjuatco warmly thanked Hyundai, noting that said communities have been in dire need of a source of pure water prior to the installation of the facility.
He recalls, “In the first three months after the rainwater harvesting facility was installed, people were hesitant to drink. So, the teachers and the students of Rawang were the first ones to make use of the water. The rest of the community decided to draw water only when they saw that the children were not getting sick and that they were needlessly spending and buying water from other places. In the next few years, we realized that Rawang was producing excess water, so the donation of this water delivery truck is a great help to us. Kesa bibitbitin pa nila ang kanilang mga lagayan, ang truck na ang magdadala ng tubig sa kanila. (Instead of having them lug containers around, a truck would bring the water to them.)”
In response, HFI president Maria Fe Perez-Agudo said, “Meron tayong maagang pamasko sa mga taga-Tanay—isang regalong pangmatagalan. Malapit sa puso ng HARI Foundation ang proyektong ito dahil kitang-kita at damang-dama natin ang benepisyong naidudulot ng pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project… Ngayon na nasa Phase 2 na tayo, lalong dapat na maisulong natin ang pagdulot ng malinis na tubig na pang-inom para sa lahat (We have an early Christmas gift for the people of Tanay — a gift for the long haul. This project is close to the heart of the HARI Foundation as the benefits of the Rainwater Harvesting Project are obvious. Now that we’re on Phase 2, we need to further work on providing clean drinking water for all) — one community at a time. My dream is to multiply the success of the Hyundai Rainwater Harvesting Project to the various islands of this country.”
Rawang Elementary School head teacher Catherine Resurrecion considers this development as a blessing to Tanay. “Mapapadali ang pag-supply ng malinis na tubig sa paligid ng Rawang. Ito ang solusyon sa problema ng tubig. Sinigurado ng aming partners na palaging potable ang tubig (It will be easy to supply clean water to Rawang. This is the solution to the water problem. Our partners made sure that our water is always potable). We were helped to maximize (the gifts of) nature — rain water. The water truck will be a channel for our school to be of service to more communities.”
Resurrecion also pointed out an increase in the enrollment in her school, from 150 (2017) to 200 (2019) because people have seen how the school is meeting the basic needs of the community: the availability of drinking water, as well as water to clean the toilets, water to bathe in, and water to sustain the community’s vegetable farming. It also enables the school to properly implement the Department of Education’s (DepEd) “Wash in Schools” hand-washing program, which helps safeguard the health of underprivileged school children in remote areas.
The pilot Rainwater Harvesting Facility was launched in Rawang Elementary School on March 22, 2017 is the fruit of the partnership between HMC, Better World Korea, HFI, and the Institute for Global Education, Exchange and Internship (IGEEI). An invention of Seoul National University Engineering College Prof. Han Moo Young, the Rainwater Harvesting Facility features a filtration method capable of producing and storing as much as 25 gallons of potable water a day from rain sourced from roof gutters.
The project garnered for HFI the Gold Award at the 2017 of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ).