The 23rd of July marks a memorable day for the community members of Sitio Upper Talahik as the Peace and Equity Foundation, Inc. and Coca –Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. conducts its project handover of the Level III Water System in Sitio Upper Talahik, Brgy. Talahik, Surallah, South Cotabato. The project was made possible through the partnership of TLDFI, & LGU Surallah Engineering Office with funding support from Peace and Equity Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. The said water system is powered by a total of 21 solar panels (9 of which are supported with batteries and 12 are direct to inverter) with a back-up generator. The water system was first installed last March 2015 while the solar panels were only installed on the last week of June 2019 covering Sitio Upper Talahik and Sitio Blakang of Brgy. Talahik, giving access to a total of 72 households including the nearby Upper Talahik Elementary School.
The activity was participated by Mr. Cornelio Quilla, Sitio leader of Upper Talahik, Hon. Arnold Buriel, Brgy. Captain of Talahik, TLDFI staff headed by its Executive Director Mr. Dennis Librado, TLDFI Board of Trustees, Ms. Monina Pacheco from The Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., Ms. Shunie Pearl Palacios and Ms. Amaris Cabason from Peace and Equity Foundation, along with several community members. One of the participants was the principal of Upper Talahik Elementary School, Mr. Randy Porcelin, who expressed his gratitude in behalf of the school for giving them access to potable water. Mr. Porcelin had been serving at Upper Talahik Elementary School for more than 12 years already. Since his first assignment in the said school, he had witnessed how difficult the situation of children is in the community. Back then, it took a lot of time and effort for children to fetch water for their households use. This is also one of the reasons why some of the children are late for school. The sanitation and hygiene of children were also affected due to lack of water supply. The establishment of water system in Upper Talahik brought a lot of change in the community. The school was now able to conduct “Hand washing” and “Brushing Through” daily and pupils now arrive at school on time.
Hon. Arnold Buriel also expressed how grateful he is that Brgy. Talahik was chosen as one of the target areas for the establishment of the water system. Aside from the success of the project, Ms. Monina Pacheco, CCFPI Program Manager – The Coca-Cola Foundation Phils., Inc. and Ms. Shunie Pearl Palacios from Peace and Equity Foundation also noticed and commended the spirit of solidarity of the community in Brgy. Talahik in which Ms. Pacheco emphasized that among all the communities served by Coca- Cola Foundation Phils., Inc. Upper Talahik is one of her favourite since she noticed the unity (Bayanihan) of the people which made the project possible and successful. Ms. Shunie Pearl Palacios, Area Officer of Peace and Equity Access for Community empowerment Foundation, Inc. (PEF) also added that she’s very grateful and overwhelmed seeing the community member do their part to make the water system successful. Two (2) years ago, when she visited the community, she had witnessed the life of the people in Upper Talahik. Now, she can see the beauty in the eyes of every beneficiary while smiling as they now have water supply in their respective households.