Stressing that the Water Private Public Partnership (WPPP) among Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water, Maynilad and Luzon Clean Water Corporation continues to work wonders, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco reported that 2017 was a good year brought about by strong investors confidence on the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte with the water agency implementing several projects geared towards providing adequate water supply to Metro Manila residents and its nearby provinces.
“Our mission at MWSS is to work with our partners in progress for the well-being of our consumers notably on water supply for the 15 million consumers that must always be sufficient, safe, and continuous for personal and domestic uses,” says MWSS Administrator Velasco.
In review are MWSS’ achievements in 2017.
A New Technical Working Group for Water Security
To map out a new 10-year development plan on new water sources that zeroes in on Unmiray and Sumag (350 MLD), Kaliwa (600 MLD), Laiban (1,800 MLD) and the possible reinstatement of Wawa Dam (350 MLD) into an active state after 24 years of dormancy, MWSS has formed a new Technical Working Group comprising of MWSS and its three concessionaires – Manila Water, Maynilad and Luzon Clean Water Development Corporation. The arching goal is to match Angat’s dam 4,000 MLD production.
“Having these additional flagship projects approved and started in the next five years would be enough Water Security and Legacy of the Duterte Administration for the next generations of Filipinos and consumers in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan,” said Velasco.
He is hopeful that the long overdue implementation of the Kaliwa Dam with P10.2 billion ODA funds from China will soon commence as three contractors are now vying to build the new water source that will provide additional 600 MLD for the supply of potable water in Metro Manila.
International Water Forums
On March 28 to 30, 2017, MWSS Administrator Velasco also attended the 4th Board of Council Meeting of the Asia Water Council (AWC) held in Beijing, China attended by water experts and leaders from various countries. During the Beijing water conference, Velasco was officially elected to the AWC Council Board.
“I will always promote the best interest of the country and MWSS as I look forward to what AWC can do to help and benefit the Philippines in the future,” he said.
The conference also paved the way for him to be invited as one of the resource speakers on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the waterworks industry in the first AIWW and Korea International Water Week (KIWW) held in September 20-23, 2017 in Gyeongju, South Korea.
Together with Manila Water’s Ferdinand Dela Cruz and Maynilad’s Ramoncito Fernandez, Velasco presented and highlighted the successful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) among MWSS and the concessionaires as an effective Legal Framework for SDGs on water supply development, operations and management. The conference also brought together some 2,500 water stakeholders who discussed ways to combat the water crisis.
“You have seen what the Philippines went through in the 1990s until MWSS was privatized under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) through a Concession Agreement (CA) that is effective and workable legal framework – and now – a good business model, proudly exported by the Philippines to neighboring countries,” Velasco said.
He added that the three concessionaires have invested billions of pesos in various improvement projects to include new pipe installations, new water sources, sewerage and treatment plants to better serve the public wherein total coverage area has now hit 97 percent in Metro Manila alone.
The Annual Million Tree Challenge
Under Velasco’s term, MWSS has launched the Annual Million Tree Challenge (AMTC), a five-year integrated watershed protection project aimed to plant one million trees every year for five years in six critical watershed areas during the term of President Duterte. The AMTC also has a five-year integrated watershed plan aimed at creating technical working group to map out a “Five-year Integrated Watershed Protection Plan” to ensure the success of the said project.
AMTC mainly focuses on six watersheds – Umiray, Angat, Ipo, La Mesa, Marikina Watershed, and Laguna Lake.
“We are hopeful that through this noble project and the steady support of everyone particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through Secretary Roy Cimatu, our three concessionaires – Maynilad, Manila Water and Bulacan Bulk Water – we will be able to protect our vital water sources, prevent flooding and mitigate other natural disasters,” Velasco said.