THE P24.4-billion Bulacan bulk water supply project that will supply water to consumers in a number of municipalities and cities in the province is on a test run in time for a formal launch in January 2019, its implementing agency said.
“We allowed already Bulacan water to open parang test run niya para makita natin kung may mga flaws pa (as a test run to check whether there are remaining flaws) especially the sharing of water,” Reynaldo V. Velasco, administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said in a briefing in Quezon City on Wednesday.
He said the first and second phases of the project are 97% complete, adding that they are set for inauguration next month depending on the schedule of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The project, which was started by the previous administration, was built by the consortium of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Korea Water Resources Corp. under a 30-year contract.
The consortium, now named Luzon Clean Water Development Corp., will be offering water at P8.50 per cubic meters.
The consortium was named the winning bidder in December 2015, making the new water source the first water project under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
It is tasked to provide treated bulk water to the 24 water service providers in Bulacan to help meet the increasing water demand of its consumers, expand its current service area coverage and increase the households served.
Under a 30-year build-operate-and-transfer contractual arrangement, the private partner will undertake the financing, detailed design and construction, and operation and maintenance of conveyance facilities, treatment facilities and water source.
Mr. Velasco said the first phase of the project would provide six municipalities and two cities of Bulacan with treated water amounting to 400 million liters per day (MLD). The second phase could ramp up water delivery to as much as 800 MLD, he added.
The water rate is fixed, with only one rate rebasing upon a review by the MWSS, Mr. Velasco said, without citing the timeline for the rebasing schedule.
In his yearend report, Mr. Velasco said MWSS was “accelerating its efforts to confront the issue of water security in mega Manila, an issue that is threatened by vigorous urbanization and population growth.”
He also said the agency was “pursuing the development of core water professionals” and that it was “nearing its ISO compliant status.” — Victor V. Saulon