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DAR finally takes steps on Davao bulk water supply project

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THE TAMUGAN RIVER

DAVAO CITY — The last pending documentary requirement for the P12-billion bulk water supply project of Aboitiz-led Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (AAII) is finally moving with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) scheduled to hold site inspection on May 17.

“We are at the last stages of our documentary requirements for the Department of Agrarian Reform conversion permit,” AAII General Manager Cirilo C. Almario III said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

A team from the DAR central office in Metro Manila will conduct the inspection, which will form part of the basis of the agency’s recommendation on the project.

“Through the site inspection, DAR will determine if we already started or put up structures without the permit as it can be a ground for disallowing the project or for a possible penalty,” said Mr. Almario, adding that he is confident that they will soon get the final green light to start construction by June.

However, the AAII official expressed concern over the possible impact on getting the final signature with DAR Secretary John Rualo Castriciones having been bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.

“We have a bit of a concern with DAR since it has no secretary yet. It might prolong the process since Mr. Castriciones is still sitting in an acting capacity and he might have second thoughts on deciding on the project,” Mr. Almario said.

AAII — a partnership between Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and J.V. Angeles Construction Corp. (JVACC) — has formed a joint venture with the Davao City Water District (DCWD) for the project that is expected to supply the city with about 300 million liters of water per day, sourced from the Tamugan River.

DCWD deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresta T. Duhaylungsod said the operations of the project is expected to solve the water supply problem in District 2 and is part of the masterplan to ensure overall supply sustainability in the city.

AAII is covering the P10 billion investment for the construction of the raw water facilities, hydroelectric power plant, treatment plant, treated water pipelines, and other facilities for various off-take points in the city. DCWD, on the other hand, will pay for the P2-billion cost to construct the primary transmission lines and storage facilities.

AAII and DCWD are aiming to have the project operational by 2021. — Carmencita A. Carillo





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