MANILA WATER Co., Inc., Maynilad Water Services, Inc., and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) are preparing a roadmap to develop and manage Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa watersheds by 2047 as sources of clean and safe water.

In a release posted on its website, Manila Water said it had signed a memorandum of agreement with Maynilad and MWSS for the Integrated Watershed Management Roadmap for Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa.

“It goes without saying that this is a very important endeavor that we, as concessionaires (Manila Water and Maynilad), and MWSS are committing to,” Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Victor Emmanuel A. de Dios said.

“So, we are very happy that this initiative has come to [fruition]. You can rely on our commitment and our support to make sure that we will work with all the stakeholders to ensure a robust and well-protected vibrant watershed,” he added.

As stipulated in the agreement, both concessionaires will fund and carry out programs that will protect and rehabilitate the water sources and ensure sustainability.

Jennifer C. Rufo, head of Maynilad’s corporate communications, said that concessionaires will split the P987.52 million cost required for various activities from 2023 to 2027.

These activities involve water resources management, watershed management, climate adaptation, and institutional management to secure water supply and quality, she said.

“Specific activities include forest landscape restoration, silt mitigation, establishment of a watershed protection system, and activation of a Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary force in Angat, among others,” she said in a Viber message.

Meanwhile, Manila Water said that it aims to plant and nurture 580,000 trees and reforest 1,000 hectares by 2025 by the second half of 2023 through its intensified water security and climate change mitigation program called Pasibol: Puno ng Pag-asa Program.

The company said that the program is a sustainability effort that focuses on resource efficiency, watershed protection, water quality, and occupational and health safety.

Manila Water serves Metro Manila’s east zone network, which comprises Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, San Juan, portions of Quezon City, and Manila, and several towns of nearby Rizal province.

Maynilad serves Manila, except for portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon. It also supplies the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in Cavite province.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera