National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad met yesterday with Hungarian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Titanilla Toth and Mr. Adrian Kiss, CEO of Hungarian Water Technology Corp. (HWTC) to discuss the strengthening of cooperation in disaster response operations.

The meeting focused on the updates on the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan offered by the Government of Hungary to OCD for the purchase of 16 mobile water treatment units from the HWTC.

The OCD previously expressed its intent to avail the ODA for the purchase of additional water treatment units to support other regions in their disaster response operations. The OCD is coordinating with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to process the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) requirements for the acquisition of the 16 water treatment units.

The HWTC previously donated mobile water treatment equipment to the Philippines. This was used in various disaster operations in 2020 and 2021, such as the Typhoon Rolly operations in Virac, Catanduanes from November 8 to 17, 2020 where it provided more than 100,00 liters of drinking water to the affected communities.

The equipment is currently stored at the NDRRMC alternate Government Command and Control Center (GCCC) in Nueva Ecija as part of its potable water system. Said equipment is movable from Fort Magsaysay to any areas that might need emergency supply drinking water during a disaster situation.

On November 13, 2019, the NDRRMC through the OCD signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement with the HWTC to implement a joint project titled “Delivery of a mobile water treatment compact unit to supply drinking water to the population during emergency situations and natural disasters in the Philippines.”

The NDRRMC, meanwhile, received a donated water treatment unit on July 10, 2020 in a turnover ceremony. This is an addition to the existing water treatment equipment of the NDRRMC that can support water provision during disaster response.

Training for the operationalization of the water treatment equipment was also conducted for OCD technicians in 2020. In the same year, the donated equipment was tested through a live demonstration.

The donated-water treatment compact unit is capable of easy deployment and can produce up to 6,000 liters of potable water per hour of surface water, or 3,000 liters per hour of sea water. The treated water meets the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO) and local public health regulations. Further details about the equipment can be found on the website of the HWTC.

The OCD expresses its gratitude for the assistance from the Hungarian Government and the HWTC in ensuring water security in the country amid emergencies and disasters. #