‘Wawa project delay to worsen water crisis’

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ports tycoon Enrique Razon, who is making his foray into the water business, has warned that the water crisis in Metro Manila could worsen if the approval of his proposed Wawa Bulk Water Supply project would be delayed further.

“We are ready to move forward and have been proactively working with all stakeholders, public and private, to progress this project since 2018.  Wawa is the fastest and least expensive water source development and comes at no cost to the government.  We are hopeful that the final steps will be taken in the coming days to finally deliver a project of critical importance to the residents of Metro Manila,” Razon said.

Last August, the Razon-led WawaJVCO and Ayala-led Manila Water signed an offtake agreement, but MWSS has yet to give the final go-signal for the project.

Proponents also conducted a series of public consultations regarding the project.

WawaJVco said MWSS continues to sit on the remaining approvals to finally move the project forward.

It maintains that MWSS, along with the other government regulatory bodies, must act quickly to avert the recurring water crisis. 

“Curiously the government seems to be desperate for new water sources, yet MWSS continues to drag its feet,” Razon said.

At the moment, the 80 MLD milestone for 2021 is likely to face a year of delay given that over seven months was wasted waiting for the final MWSS approvals.

WawaJVCo further expressed fears that, if not addressed immediately, the delivery of a new water source of this size would be unlikely in 2021.

Just last Oct. 24, both Metro Manila water concessionaires started to ration water again because Angat Dam, continues to be below ideal level. 

Razon said while the government is seeking to develop new water sources, MWSS’ final approval for the Wawa project continues to be delayed.

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