San Miguel set to start water project in Bulacan
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The P24.4-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP) of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is expected to start operations early next year.

This is  the first major water project to be implemented by the Duterte administration.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said the two phases of the project are 97 percent complete and are expected to be inaugurated by President Duterte in January 2019.

While the Bulacan water project was started by the Aquino administration in 2012, it is the first major water project to be completed during Duterte’s term.

MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco said the treatment plant would have a capacity of 400 million liters per day (MLD) which could go as far as 800 MLD,” he said.

The formal start of operations next month will also signal the beginning of the 25-year concession period which will last until 2044. Luzon Clean Water Development Corp., a consortium of San Miguel Holdings (80 percent) and K-Water Resources Corp. (20 percent), will then start charging consumers at San Miguel’s P8.50 per cubic meter.

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 project 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.

Since the construction of the Ipo dam and Angat dam, Bulacan has been the host of the backbone of Metro Manila’s water supply system.

However, even with the expansion of the system, Bulacan has not been considered part of the beneficiaries of the Angat water system despite the clamor from the province for its inclusion.

It was in July 2012 when a memorandum of agreement was signed between MWSS and the province of Bulacan for the supply of treated bulk water to the entire province through its water districts.

The BBWSP is one of the two water projects of the MWSS under the country’s public-private partnership program, the other one being the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project aimed at meeting the increasing water demand in Metro Manila.

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