QUEZON CITY – One of the oldest waterworks sewerage services in Asia, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has definitely advanced over the past couple of decades and it is leading the way in successful stewardship of Public Private Partnership in the Asia Pacific.
This was announced by the new MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco as he cited the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP), which has been awarded to San Miguel Corporation in 2016, of having been shortlisted for the 2017 Global Water Awards for Water Deal of the Year.
The award is given to projects that have made the biggest contribution for the improvement of the international water sector will be handed out at the Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid, Spain on 24 April 2017 as part of the Global Water Summit, a global business conference for the water industry. Aside from BBWSS, other shortlisted projects are the Aqaba Desalination Plant Financing in Jordan, Barka 4 IWP Financing in Oman, and the Vista Ridge Pipeline Financing in the United States.
The P16.32 Billion project services 21 municipalities and 3 cities in Bulacan – with two stages completed and another stage in the offing. The Bulacan Bulk Water was among the banner projects undertaken by Velasco’s predecessor Gerardo A.I. Esquivel.
BBWSS is a joint venture of San Miguel Holdings (80%) and Korea’s K-water (20%),
The prestigious annual Awards was established in 2006 by the Global Water Intelligence and recognizes the most important achievements in the international water industry in the water, wastewater and desalination sectors that are propelling the industry towards improved operating performance, innovative technology adoption and sustainable financial models.
MWSS CHIEF CITES FVR LEGACY ON WATER SUPPLY IN METRO MANILA
It can be recalled that on 19 June 1971, through Republic Act 6234, MWSS was created to ensure the uninterrupted supply and distribution of potable water. In 1997, then-president Fidel V. Ramos passed into law Republic Act 8041, also known as “The Water Crisis Act” which led for the privatization of MWSS.
FVR also called for the reorganization of the MWSS to encourage private sector participation in the privatization of the MWSS facilities and operations to address issues connected with the supply distribution, strengthening the government anti-water pilferage efforts and the finance privatization.
In August 1997, the Ramos administration entered into a 25-year Concession Agreement with two private consortia comprised of international and local partners. This efficiently shifted the operational responsibilities of MWSS to Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (for the West Zone) and Manila Water Company, Inc. (for the East Zone).
“The public-private partnership (PPP) or more popularly known as the MWSS Privatization has proven well for our country and for our people over the last 20 years,” says MWSS Administrator Velasco. “This promotes common beneficial and water advocacies anchored on what is right, fair, just and reasonable for all affected constituents. Definitely, we will continue to serve the interest of the public as well as our concessionaires.”
In December 2006, the 84%-stake in Maynilad by MWSS was awarded to an all-Filipino partnership with a construction company DM Consunji Holdings, Inc. (DMCI) and a telecommunications/real estate company Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) for a sales price of US$503.9 Million.
Velasco vowed to pursue flagship projects such as the Kaliwa, Laiban at Kanan dam projects that would ensure sustainable water supply for Metro Manila and its adjoining provinces in the next 25-50 years.
He has also encouraged concessionaires to look for other sources of water the overall efforts of MWWS in ensuring sustainable water supply for the next generation. (Melandrew T. Velasco)