P43Billion water deal inked by both MetroPac-DCWD

Metro Pacific Water has finally accepted, signed and committed  a  P43billion water- deal with the Dumaguete City Water District in what is described as  an ambitious quest to increase water supply by 10-million liters a day on top of its present 33-million liters a day production.

This is to serve the fast rising 132,000 – water consumer population in 33,000 connectioins up by almost double in the next five years.

The water district  admitted that it can no longer do the job alone with the rising population and economic growth of Dumaguete city.  The DCWD needs as partner or …just simply fold up.

By: Choy Gallarde.

The unsolicited proposal three years ago to improve the present status of the Dumaguete City Water District (DCWD) into a first class water service provider have started to bear fruit with the ceremonial signing today of a joint venture agreement with Metro Pacific Water (MPW), a wholly-owned water infrastructure subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MWIC)

The statement was issued by Dr. Cleonico Fontelo, board of director vice chairman of the city water district in today’s ceremonial signing of a partnership agreement between DCWD and MPW.

He said DCWD’s water source and network are struggling to cope with the increasing demand for water reaching 43 million liters per day (MLD) by 2050, while its present production level is at 33 MLD only servicing 33,000 connections with a population of about 132,000.

Inspite of this, reliable access to water is still not enjoyed in some barangays of the city, shortage of water supply is experienced, frequent incidents of leakage and low water pressure. Thus, DCWD decided to partner with one of the leading water infrastructure companies in the Philippines, Fontelo pointed out.  He thanked the transition committee of the water district for their invaluable task of navigating the shift from a government-trans service to a world class private sector company, now called the Metro Pacific Dumaguete Water Services Inc.

Ramoncito Fernandez, chair of the Metro Pacific Water of the Metro Pacific group of companies and president of Maynilad said today’s ceremonial signing signifies the start of a reliable and sustainable water services in Dumaguete with projects that will not only bring comfort to ovfer 132,000 residents of the city but will also help promote economic development in this part of the country.

According to Fernandez, MDW will manage a concession involving the operation of a 57 million liters a day water facility to provide Dumaguetenos 24/7 access to potable water.  The transition of the water district’s operation is already in the works as it prepare to commence in January 2020 with a total expenditure of P2.3 billion with P1.4 billion more or less to be spent in the first five years.  Part of the amount will be used in the automation of the billing and collection system and to establish a septage management program.

Fernandez further said MDW will work for the rehabilitation, upgrading and expansion of the water districts’s existing water sources and distribution network including the reduction of its non-revenue water through meter and pipe replacements.

He stressed the joint venture company will operate with the solid backing from the technical capabilities and experience  of Maynilad, the largest private water concessionaire in the country in terms of customer base.

2nd District Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria sent a message which was read for him by his chief of staff Atty Neil Ray Lagahit.

Sagarbarria just wanted the water supply to be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic use, it must be safe, free from micro organisms and other threats, it must be acceptable in color, odor and taste, it has to be physically feasible and it must be affordable to all.  He said that with the agreement, the 2nd district solon is confident all things that he has spelled out will be possible especially with the support of Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and Gov. Roel Degamo.  Sagarbarria also said that with the right people behind, water security and safety will not be an issue in the future.

For their part, the business sector headed by Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc regional director Eduard Du believes the P2.3 billion investment will surely boost the city’s competitiveness as a growing city, open job opportunities for the city and the province, and will attract more investors, notwithstanding the fact that the plan to develop an international airport, a seaport and an ecozone in Bacong, Negros Oriental is making headway. The local business community is also poised to position Dumaguete as a study and tourism hub, leveraging on the large population of foreign students enrolled in the city’s universities.jrg