This “Statement” is being issued to clarify certain newspaper reports regarding the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) phase of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS-KDP). The articles were based on the Commission’s MWSS COA 2020 Annual Report (AAR). According to the newspaper account of the 2020 AAR, the DED achieved a 92.67 percent completion rate without first satisfying the DENR’s environmental certificate preconditions.

Although MWSS welcomes analysis and data sharing, the COA observations on the NCWS-KDP were misinterpreted. We show here the entire COA recommendation on the NCWS-KDP here in the interest of truth and transparency.

 

2020 COA AAR page 123:

23.21 We recommended that Engineering and Technical Operations Group secure the necessary permits as required by the DENR for the implementation of the NCWS-KDP and the submission of Compliance Monitoring Report (CMR) together with the supporting documents:

Management commented that it had submitted the following to the EMB:

a)    CMR for (January-June 2020) submitted to EMB Central Office as part of the second semester; e) Inventory Assessment of Threatened Species
b)    Draft of Integrated Development Plan f)  Integrated Kaliwa Watershed
Management Plan
c)     Reforestation & Carbon Sink Program g) Creation of Environmental Unit
d)    Detailed Waste Management Plan  

23.22 However, the CMR was not supported with the complete documents (necessary permits) and all the submitted documents are in photocopied forms.

23.23   We maintain our position that MWSS secure the necessary permits and submit the duly authenticated copies of the CMR ort and its supporting documents to establish proper compliance with the requirements of the DENR.

 

A few points

The COA is simply concerned about the CMR, which it believes should be accompanied by authenticated documentation of the pre-construction permits required by the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). The ECC, which became effective on 11 October 2019, establishes several conditions for the pre-construction and design, design to construction, construction and operation phases. Clearly, compliance with the ECC’s requirements is a continuous process that should be integrated into all project phases and aspects.

The ECC conditions should be interpreted and reconciled with the Design-and-Build framework of the Contract, which consists of the following stages:

1st Stage:  Detailed Engineering Design (DED); and

2nd Stage: Construction activities after the Notice to Commence Construction (NTCC) is issued to the Contractor

MWSS was never remiss in securing the environmental requirements.  Of the conditions set for pre-construction and DED phase, only the following have yet to be secured, e.g.  (1) Certification Precondition from the NCIP on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process; (2) Permits for disposal sites of excavated materials; (3) Special Use Agreement in Protected Areas (SAPA)

The 92.67 percent accomplishment refers only to DED deliverables such as detailed engineering investigations, value engineering and value analysis reports, and other ECC compliance documentation. To date, overall accomplishment is only 10.44% which comprises the DED accomplishment including other preconstruction items such as the design and manufacturing of the Tunnel Boring Machine.  No construction assets, equipment, or ground works have been mobilized or begun, as the NTCC has not yet been issued to the Contractor.

  1. Compliance Monitoring Report. The CMR is a self-monitoring report submitted semi-annually to DENR to support compliance with ECC conditions and the Environmental Management Plan (EMP).    The CMR which is due to be submitted to DENR every January and July of the compliance year, was submitted to DENR on 16 July 2021.  The COA deadline set in June 2021 is a month early, hence failed to meet the satisfactory documentation required.    However, as part of the COA due process, MWSS has 60 days from the date of official receipt of the 2020 AAR to comply with the observations. MWSS received the 2020 AAR on 27 August 2021.
  2. According to newspaper reports, MWSS proceeded with the construction of the Kaliwa Dam without first obtaining a Certificate of Precondition (CP) from the National Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and a SAPA from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

MWSS has NOT begun work on the damsite area where the CP and SAPA are required. For the other project areas, particularly the tunnel outlet area in Teresa, Rizal, which is outside the Indigenous People’s (IP) ancestral domain and the protected area, the project is strictly adhering to the required permits from the LGU Teresa and Morong in the Province of Rizal. Concerning the agreement with the ICCs/IPs, MWSS is being assisted by the NCIP and ARTA in resolving the issues following the breakdown of discussions on the yearly financial support.

MWSS since it filed its application for the FPIC way back in 2015 has always maintained its broader duty to consult the affected indigenous peoples and communities.    It will not take any actions that could result in the ECC being revoked or suspended by DENR or violate the rights of the indigenous peoples.