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Manila Water earmarks P38.4B for 7 wastewater facilities

/ 05:32 AM February 16, 2019

Manila Water Co. Inc. will start over the next four years the construction of seven wastewater facilities worth a total of P38.4 billion as it continues to strengthen its programs regarding used water.

Manila Water officials yesterday said the package was part of a P115-billion wastewater infrastructure program for the next 19 years or until the end of the company’s concession with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)—covering the East Zone of Metro Manila and adjacent provinces.

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Donna Perez, head of Manila Water’s used water planning department, said in a briefing that the new batch of projects would be in addition to seven others that were already being built.

These ongoing projects include sewerage treatment plants (STPs) that will serve the areas of Pasig, Mandaluyong-San Juan-Quezon City, Antipolo, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Makati-Manila and Taguig.

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Perez said the STPs to be built were designed to cumulatively collect and treat up to about 950 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater from a population of 7.5 million in the East Zone by 2037.

This means Manila Water would have fulfilled its commitment to achieve 99 percent coverage for its sewerage facilities within its concession.

“We started with a 3-percent coverage in 1997 when there were only two used water facilities processing a total of 40 MLD from a population of 45,000,” Perez said.

Currently, Manila Water has 23-percent sewer coverage with 40 used water facilities in operation, processing 310 MLD. This relates to used water discharged from about a quarter of households with 1.6 million people altogether.

By 2037, Manila Water expects to have 53 used water facilities—an addition of 23 new plants—with an aggregate processing capacity of 1.3 billion liters daily.

“We have been continuously investing in such facilities since we started the concession,” said Jeric Sevilla, head of corporate communications at Manila Water.

“We have heard [insinuations] that MWSS concessionaires are to be blamed for the dismal state of Manila Bay because we have been supposedly remiss in building STPs,” Sevilla said. “That is not true. We have invested a total of P33 billion in used water facilities since 1997 and we are investing more until 2037.”

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