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World Bank flags unmet goals in NCR wastewater project

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THE project period for a Metro Manila wastewater collection and treatment management system is due to expire Tuesday with its main backer, the World Bank, noting that the project has yet to meet targets for the number of people reached, among others.

According to a World Bank implementation status and results report, the project is scheduled to close on June 30. It took in $275 million worth of financing starting in October 2012, with the original project expiration set for June 30, 2017 but was extended to June 30, 2020.

The bank gave a “moderate” overall risk rating for the project and issued a “moderately satisfactory” grade for the implementing agencies in as far as the objectives that were met.

It gave a ”moderately unsatisfactory” evaluation of overall implementation progress.

As of the end of May, the bank said Maynilad Water Services, Inc., one of the implementing agencies, exceeded its objective in reducing biological oxygen demand (BOD) in collected wastewater, after covering 2,484 tons per year, or well above its target of 1,848 tons per year.

Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWCI), the other implementing agency, partially achieved the BOD target at 76% completion rate as of May 31, with around 94% completion expected by September, according to the World Bank.

In terms of the number of people benefitting, it said the entire project has reached 72% of the 2.4 million target, with MWCI exceeding its goal of 1.2 million and Maynilad reaching 473,076 out of its 1.3 million goal.

“It is projected that with the completion of Cupang STP (sewerage treatment plant) by third or fourth quarter of 2020, an additional 13% (will be added to) the project’s total wastewater treatment capacity and an additional 353,846 people (will benefit) from the project,” it said.

It said the two water concessionaires exceeded their targets on private capital mobilized, an indicator of counterpart-funding availability.

Both companies failed to meet their targets for construction works as of May 31, due to the lockdown imposed in mid-March.

MWCI hit its target to increase the wastewater treatment capacity by 165,000 cubic meters according to the bank, while Maynilad raised capacity by 61,750 cubic meters at the end of May, underperforming the target of 187,500 cubic meters.

“An additional 46,000 cubic meters of wastewater treatment capacity is expected with the possible completion of Cupang STP by September 2020. This will possibly bring MWSI’s total treatment capacity to 107.75 cubic meters (57% of target),” it said.

The World Bank has disbursed 97% or $265.64 million of the $275-million loan facility.

The project aims to improve wastewater collection and treatment systems in selected sub-catchments in Metro Manila by backing MWCI and Maynilad’s enhancement projects through the Land Bank of the Philippines. — Beatrice M. Laforga





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