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Duterte urged to reconsider Tanay water project

A Japanese engineering company asked President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday to reconsider its unsolicited proposal to build a weir for impounding water in Tanay, Rizal province, and direct the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to honor an agreement on building the facility.

Toshikazu Nomura, chief executive of Global Utility Development Co. Ltd. (GUDC), said at a press briefing his company’s design cost was lower.

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“Our proposal has a preliminary cost of $410 million (about P21.6 billion) while that of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, or NCWSP is $800 million,” Nomura said.

He said the project proposal, which also provides for the construction of a water treatment plant, would not inundate inhabited areas.

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The proposed site is 4 kilometers upstream of the proposed Kaliwa Dam in Quezon province.

No inundation of village

“Kaliwa Dam’s level would cause the inundation of the Daraitan village in Rizal, which is at 150 masl (meters above sea level),” Nomura said. “With our weir, [the village] will not go under water.”

A weir and a dam are both barriers across a river, which are meant to raise the water level on the upstream side. The difference is that when the water reaches a critical high level, it flows over a weir, while in the case of a dam, water goes through a spillway.

Nomura said GUDC’s design entailed a 7-meter barrier that would raise water to 117 masl. The Kaliwa Dam, with a 73-meter barrier, would raise water to 160 masl, he said.

GUDC’s Kaliwa Intake Weir project, which would be financed by the proponent could provide 550 million liters of raw water daily.

Nomura said GUDC’s proposal had been on the table since January 2008, when the company signed with the MWSS a memorandum of understanding on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.

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In August 2009, however, then MWSS Administrator Diosdado Jose Allado said the agency was instead considering the NCWSP as the new water source for Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Nomura said that in May 2010, the MWSS agreed to receive GUDC’s proposal, with a go-signal from former President Benigno Aquino III.

Appeal to President

“We appeal to the Office of the President to reconsider our proposal,” Nomura said.

MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said nothing more could be done for GUDC’s proposal.

“The Neda (National Economic and Development Authority), chaired by the President, has approved the Kaliwa project,” he said. “We at MWSS [do] not have a say on such a matter.”

Velasco noted that the loan agreement was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit last November.

Palace open to project

While the MWSS was cool to the GUDC proposal, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Malacañang was considering the unsolicited proposal of the Osaka-based company to build the Kaliwa Intake Weir project under a 25-year BOT scheme. —With a report from Julie M. Aurelio

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TAGS: Global Utility Development Co. Ltd., GUDC, Rodrigo Duterte, Tanay water project
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