MWSS to give final approval for Wawa project next week

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) assured that it would give its final approval for the Wawa Dam project next week, admitting further delay may worsen the water supply crunch in Metro Manila.

MWSS chairman Reynaldo Velasco said the MWSS board would tackle and approve the project in its meeting scheduled on Nov. 14.

WawaJVCo is a joint venture company formed by Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Corp. 

 Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc. is also part of the project.

“The original off take was already approved, but they asked for a supplemental off take agreement in terms of penalties in case the (construction)of the project will have to be extended. The board decided to revert it to OGCC (Office of the Government Corporate Counsel,” Velasco told The STAR.

“It’s not that big, but the board just wanted to review it.  We had to take a look at it because we have to consider our consumers,” he said.

Velasco said the board had already approved major points of the agreement, especially the cost and tariff of about P1.37 per cubic meter which would be passed on to consumers once the project is completed.

“They just probably got tired of waiting. They are reacting because they have a big stake in this. But it does not mean we are just sitting on it, we are working on it,” Velasco said.

Tycoon Enrique Razon recently said the MWSS continues to sit on the remaining approvals to finally move the project forward.

“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,” he said.

It was in August when the parties inked a raw water supply offtake agreement with the MWSS. The off take agreement will be for a term of 30 years and will involve the supply of raw water from the Wawa and Tayabasan rivers.

The first phase will involve the supply of 80 million liters per day (MLD) of raw water by Dec. 31, 2021 while the second phase will involve the supply of an additional 438 MLD of raw water by Dec. 31, 2025.

All parties hope to break ground for the project by next year. It involves the development of a water supply facility at the Wawa catchment area traversing the municipality of Rodriguez and city of Antipolo, both in the province of Rizal.

The Wawa JVCo will construct and establish facilities to capture and divert water for municipal use from the Wawa River to provide either raw or treated water to water distributors and consumers in Metro Manila and surrounding communities.

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