MWSS to bid out P24.4 B Bulacan water project
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration has started the bidding process for the P24.4-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP) and is giving interested bidders until August 5 to submit their prequalification documents to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

In an invitation to prequalify and bid for the public private partnership (PPP) project, MWSS senior deputy administrator Nathaniel Santos said interested parties could apply for pre-qualification and bid for the design, financing, construction, development, operation and maintenance of facilities for the bulk supply of treated water to water districts in Bulacan Province.

Santos said the project would be awarded through competitive public bidding using performance or output-based scheme in accordance with Republic Act No. 7718 also known as the Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) law.

The bidding would follow a two-stage process wherein the prospective bidders would first be pre-qualified based on legal, technical and financial capability requirements, afterwhich the pre-qualified bidders would be invited to submit bids.

Santos said prospective bidders should submit their applications for pre-qualification together with the pre-qualification documents to the Prequalification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the MWSS not later than August 5.

 According to Santos, only pre-qualified bidders would be invited to participate in the second stage of the bid process.

The BBWSP aims to address the water supply requirements of municipalities in the province of Bulacan, thereby reducing groundwater extraction and use of deep wells which are being discouraged due to adverse environmental impact.

The BBWSP intends to supply treated bulk water to water districts in Bulacan province through the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities for abstraction, treatment, and conveyance of treated bulk water supply; land acquisition and right-of-way access as well as social, resettlement, and environmental facilities cost.

Under the project, water districts may be clustered based on the most efficient technical design considering geographical location, terrain, demand, and availability of supply.

MWSS would make available 5.5 cubic meters per second (CMS) from its water rights in Angat Reservoir for the project.

The Water Infrastructure Forum dubbed as Invest Water PH organized by the MWSS and PPP Center last June 10 attracted more than 200 participants from the private sector.

Aside from the BBWSP, the government also presented the $416.1 million New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWSP) that intends to augment the supply of raw water and reducing dependence on Angat Dam helping ensure water security in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces.

The project involves the construction of a 600 million liters per day (MLD) dam, 2,400 MLD water conveyance tunnel, access roads, bridges, and drainage to be used in the building of the dam.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said water security remains one of the government’s priorities.

However, practitioners recognize that water infrastructure projects including piped water networks are capital extensive and require sector expertise to provide excellent services to the clients.

“It is in this light that PPP is considered as a viable option in undertaking water projects. Through PPPs, private sector efficiency and technology are maximized to realize high-impact projects directly benefitting the public,” Canilao said.

Likewise, the government also presented the Angat Water Transmission improvement project (AWTIP) worth $134 million to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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