THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it has cleared four irrigation dams in Cavite to be tapped for potable water.

Undersecretary Carlos Primo C. David said the dams controlled by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will supply Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

“One of the dams is already online and we are getting water from that dam, supplying water to Cavite residents. The three others will be supplying within the next few months,” Mr. David said at a seminar hosted by Maynilad last week.

The NIA manages 22 dams in Cavite, where farms are dwindling due to the conversion of much of the land to residential development.

“A small policy innovation that we have signed was to convert all these dams into multi-purpose use. And therefore, companies like Maynilad can now access that water to provide water to their residents,” Mr. David said.

Last year, the DENR announced that it will offer 135 water projects to private investors in 2024 hoping to “increase the number of persons with access to drinking water and generate inexpensive hydropower.”

Mr. David has said that the water projects involve water rights held by NIA.

In February, he said that the department has opened up 112 more water projects for public-private investment involving combined capacity of 100 to 170 million liters per day.

Maynilad serves the city of Manila, except portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay City, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon.

It 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