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P18.7-B Kaliwa Dam still awaiting ECC

All requirements for undertaking the P18.7-billion Kaliwa Dam—be it legal, financial, environmental or technical—“have been addressed in strict compliance” to Philippine laws, according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

MWSS said in a statement all submissions that the Commission on Audit (COA) called had been provided, except for the environmental compliance certificate (ECC)—the application for which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had neither granted nor denied.

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The agency was reacting to a COA memorandum dated June 16, which described the Kaliwa Dam project as “a negotiated contract from inception of the bidding process” even if “the procurement of the project is with the semblance of a competitive bidding.”

The memo called for an explanation from MWSS of the criteria for the competitiveness of the three nominated Chinese contractors, among which the winner was China Engineering Corp.

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“In response to the (memo), MWSS management has already submitted the detailed explanation for the technical working group to the COA auditor,” the agency said.

“With regard to the observation that the loan remains ineffective due to non-submission of documents required under the loan agreement, it is clarified that [several] documents have been obtained and submitted by MWSS,” it added.

MWSS was referring to the Monetary Board’s approval of the loan between MWSS and Export-Import Bank of China; Department of Finance approval-in-principle and willingness to guarantee; DOE certification that all internal government approval required to execute the loan agreement have already been obtained; Bureau of Treasury certification that complies with Republic Act No. 4860; special authority from the President; signed preferential buyers’ credit loan agreement; and signed letter of guarantee.

RA 7860 authorizes the President to obtain loans for financing of approved economic development projects, among other purposes.

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TAGS: environmental compliance certificate (ECC), Kaliwa dam, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)
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