THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said that it is planning a new auction of the New Clark City (NCC) water concession, after the previous awardee backed out.

BCDA Chairman Delfin N. Lorenzana told reporters on Tuesday that the previous NCC water concessionaire withdrew due to the “low number of clients.”

“So right now, our interim agreement is for Filinvest to take over because it needs water for its development in New Clark City…  But yes, we are going to bid out the water there,” Mr. Lorenzana said.

In November 2018, a consortium led by Villar Group’s Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. and Israel’s Tahal Group won the bid to deliver water and wastewater services in New Clark City.

“Prime Water’s reason for backing out is that there aren’t many clients. There are really few people in New Clark City, so there’s no one to use the water yet,” he added.

At the moment, he said that the source of New Clark City’s water is underground. The BCDA is also planning to develop a separate surface water source.

“According to (Tarlac) Governor Susan A. Yap, there’s a big river in Tarlac that the BCDA can develop,” Mr. Lorenzana said.

He said that the dams surrounding New Clark City are some distance away — Ipo Dam in Bulacan, San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, and Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.

He added that the surface water project will be vital to attracting more investors to Clark, and described the water supply in New Clark City as inconsistent.

“We expect more (investors) to come in once we develop the roads and bring in power and water,” he said.

“Right now, we are receiving interest from the Koreans, and most of them want to build a golf course,” he added.

According to Mr. Lorenzana, the progress of road development in New Clark City is currently at 15%. — Justine Irish D. Tabile