MCWD board delays bulk water project?
In an inter-office memorandum dated July 13 obtained by The Freeman, the Production and Distribution Department evaluation report dated June 27, 2020 has endorsed the lone bidder, J.E. Hydro & Bio Energy Corporation as compliant to the terms of reference and technical specifications, after the other bidder, R. Abalos Construction Corporation, has withdrawn due to COVID-19.
STAR/File
MCWD board delays bulk water project?
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - August 31, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  An additional 15,000 cubic meter of water supply could have been available soon to Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) consumers had the board acted expeditiously on the evaluation and recommendations of the technical working group to award the P5.4 billion Lahug Bulk Water Supply Project to the lone responsive bidder.

In an inter-office memorandum dated July 13 obtained by The Freeman, the Production and Distribution Department evaluation report dated June 27, 2020 has endorsed the lone bidder, J.E. Hydro & Bio Energy Corporation as compliant to the terms of reference and technical specifications, after the other bidder, R. Abalos Construction Corporation, has withdrawn due to COVID-19.

The Engineering Department also signified the supplier’s design on pipe size is very safe and its booster pump ratings is doable as per design although the said department has opted to endorse the expertise from a technical consultant with regards to structural soundness and workability of their treatment facility as stipulated in an inter-office memo dated June 29.

The Environment and Water Resources Department have also submitted its comment with regards to the said bidder’s hydrology study in Lusaran, but did not indicate whether or not the latter has complied with the minimum requirements so the TWG called for a meeting last July 10 and shed light on their design and option to expand their impounding basin/lagoon and is already in negotiations with the lot owners.

The TWG already submitted to the Bid and Awards Committee its evaluation and recommendation report on the technical and financial component of J. E. Hydro’s bid, stating that “it has complied with minimum requirement as per end-user’s evaluation.

“Whereas, upon careful examination, validation and verification of all the technical, financial and post qualification requirements submitted by the lowest calculated bidders, J.E. Hydro & Bio Energy Corporation, its bid has been found to be responsive.”

The MCWD board allegedly sits on the recommendations.

MCWD chairman Joey Daluz has denied delaying the bulk water supply project. He said they have hired a financial consultant to look into the matter before awarding the project to the current bidder.

“Nag-commission mi ug financial consultant to know if he has the right price, buying price, P65 man tingali. Ang board is a little bit concerned of the price considering that this is a surface water. Ang river man ni sa Lusaran,” Daluz said in an interview with The Freeman.

(We commissioned a financial consultant to know if he has the right price, buying price, at P65. The board is a little bit concerned of the price considering that this is surface water. This is the river in Lusaran.)

Being surface water, it could have been a little bit cheaper, Daluz said.

“Ang pangutana sa board ang infrastructure, maong ang price taas. Taas ang piping, muagi pa’s bukid,” Daluz added.

(The board is questioning the infrastructure because this is why the price is high. The piping is long, it has to pass through the mountain.)

Daluz understands that building a dam in Lusaran cannot be done due to objections that the proponent needs to extract about five hectares to sustain the water supply for a year.

Daluz said they do not have plans of increasing its tariff for now.

A Notice of Award and a subsequent Notice to Proceed is needed before J.E. Hydro can start construction of the project priced at P65.08 (bid amount) per cubic meter cheaper than the P65.80 per cubic meter published price of MCWD.

Daluz said they are also against the bidding.

“We have so many question ana. In fact, Manila Water is offering the city to build, same investment, unya and ilang baligya sa city P50,” he said.

(We have to many questions about that. In fact, Manila Water is offering the city to build, the same investment, and it’s only being sold at P50.)

This will be the first time that MCWD will be buying water from a private bulk water supplier, Daluz said.

“We have to check first if we are buying at a reasonable price. The report from our financial consultant is being finalized already,” Daluz said.

The Cebu City Council has invited the board to discuss in detail MCWD’s plans and programs in addressing the water crisis here.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama who leads the legislative department said he has already spoken with Daluz to appear in one of the sessions of the City Council.

“I have already been talking to Joey Daluz that they should also be ready to appear before the council and present what programs do they have,” Rama said.

Rama said that aside from the line-up of programs, they would also want to learn updates on the present problems and the actions undertaken by MCWD compared to the previous board. — JMO  (FREEMAN)

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