The Asia Water Council and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) have firmed up their ties in an effort to improve Metro Manila’s overall water security and wastewater management systems following the official visit of AWC and K Water President Hak Soo Lee and 12 others at MWSS yesterday.

MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco officially welcomed Dr. Lee with a briefing and exchanges of notes along with top MWSS officials, Manila Water President Ferdinand M. dela Cruz, Maynilad President Ramoncito S. Fernandez and officials of Bulacan Bulk Water and Angat Hydro Power of which K-Water is an affiliate of San Miguel Corporation.

“We thank K Water through Dr. Lee for helping MWSS in the strengthening and retrofitting of Angat Dam as part of their commitment with SMC in operating Transmissions 1 and 2 turbines which is crucial to the government’s water security program particularly on the possible occurrence of the Big One with Angat Dam supplying 96 percent water to Metro Manila and nearby provinces,” Velasco said.

“We are honored to be partners with MWSS and we look forward to future joint projects including the setting up of an MWSS-AWC- K Water Institute-Academy to serve the Philippine water industry,” said Dr. Lee who added that K-Water runs an academy whose roster of alumni included Manila Water President Ferdz de la Cruz.

The visit of Dr. Lee comes on the heels of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Velasco and other select officers and members of the Asia Water Council (AWC) at the 7th AWC BOC in Daejoon City, South Korea last September.

The Asia Water Council consists of more than 100 members, organizations, representing more than 26 countries worldwide.

The MWSS Administrator who also serves as AWC Director said the AWC-initiated MOU will afford the MWSS and the Philippines to cooperate and to promote the water industry and resolve problems in the Asia region through the following: a) conduct of joint research; b) sharing Test-beds owned by the respective agencies and supporting their operation; c) supporting the promotion and AWC and their products; and, d) providing other cooperative support and needed assistance.

Meanwhile, MWSS Administrator Velasco has formed an organising committee for the hosting of the AWC General Assembly, 8th Board of Council Meeting and General Elections to be co-hosted by MWSS, Manila Water, Maynilad and Luzon Clean Water on March 14 to 16, 2019.

Among those named to the committee include: MWSS Deputy Administrator Virgilio Moro Lazo, Susanne Sta. Maria, Jeric Sevilla and Noel Abesamis of Manila Water, Maynilad’s Annette H. De Ocampo and Francisco Arellano, SMC’s Edgar Dona, German Avengoza and Archibald Macababad and MWSS Consultant Melandrew T. Velasco.

The AWC Philippine Committee met officially with the AWC Secretariat last October 2 at the Edsa Shangrila Hotel with AWC Executive Director Yongdeok Cho, MWSS Administrator Velasco and MWSS Deputy Administrator Bobby Leonor Cleofas to firm up preparations for the March 2019 event which is expected to gather some 300 experts and water leaders from 123 AWC member countries and institutions.

“In an era of climate change, international cooperation and in adherence to the United Nations Sustainable Goal No. 6 on Water and Sanitation, the Asia Water Council event will afford MWSS and the Philippine greater partnership and opportunities with our Asian counterparts including water supply industry access to modern research and technologies under the aegis of Build, Build, Build policy of President Duterte,” said the MWSS chief.