DENR, firm told to protect watershed while building Rizal dam
Upper Wawa Dam

Marcos asks firm, DENR to protect watershed while building Rizal dam

/ 08:50 PM July 10, 2024

MANILA, Philippines —President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has called on Prime Infra, the company involved in the construction of the Upper Wawa Dam, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protect the watersheds while finishing the facilities in the area.

During the ceremonial start of the impounding process of Upper Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal, Marcos said that watersheds in the said dam and the Upper Marikina River Basin must be protected, with reforestation and biodiversity protection as priorities.

“The progress that we have made here at the Upper Wawa Dam is a significant stride towards our goal of social and economic transformation. I now ask the Prime Infra and its joint venture, WawaJVCo, to continue collaborating with the DENR, prioritize watershed protection in the Upper Wawa Dam, as well as the reforestation and biodiversity preservation in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape,” Marcos said.


“Please continue implementing these innovative designs and practices in your initiatives so that you can uphold the delicate balance of our ecosystem and continue to reinforce our nation’s resilience against ecological adversities,” he added.


Marcos’ reminder came amid calls for him to protect natural resources in Taytay, also in Rizal province, where the Masungi Rock Formation sits.

Last Thursday, award-winning Hollywood actor and known environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio asked Marcos to intervene and help protect the area, amid alleged threats of commercialization and the plans to cancel the DENR’s contract with Masungi Georeserve Foundation Inc. (MGFI).

DENR in 2017 entered into a memorandum of agreement with MGFI to manage the Masungi Rock Formation.  This deal, however, has been questioned several times as the private firm supposedly earns from the protected area.

Masungi is located near the Upper Marikina River Basin.

READ: Leonardo DiCaprio urges Bongbong Marcos to protect Masungi

In a statement after DiCaprio’s post, DENR thanked international celebrities who are concerned about the state of the Philippine environment, but the agency said the rule of law must prevail.


READ: DENR thanks Leo DiCaprio but says law must prevail on Masungi 

Wawa Dam was constructed after fears were raised that Angat Dam could no longer meet the water demands of Metro Manila.  Projections showed that by 2025, water supply can increase from 80 million liters per day to 438 million per day — and eventually, to 710 million liters per day in the succeeding years.

Marcos said this will ensure water security within Metro Manila.

“Suffice it to say, we need a new source of water to ensure the water security of Metro Manila and surrounding areas now and in the decades to come… The Upper Wawa Dam will be the biggest water source to be built in the country in over 50 years, next to the Angat Dam,” he said.

“The water supply from the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project is set to increase from 80 million today to 438 million liters per day once Phase 2 of the Project or the Upper Wawa Dam starts its operations by the end of 2025, which could increase to 710 million liters per day in the following years,” he added.

Marcos also said that the Upper Wawa Dam complements other projects being completed by the national government across the country — all of which aim to provide reliable and potable water supply even in far-flung areas.

“I likewise call upon every Filipino to amplify our efforts to conserve the country’s water resources. Let us remember that the stewardship of these resources is not just a task but a shared responsibility,” he noted.

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“We will continue to address water security challenges to ensure that every Filipino has access to sufficient and clean water.… Let us not only consider this as a milestone in our nation’s development but also a symbol of our collective determination to lead better lives and shape a more promising Bagong Pilipinas for the Filipino people,” he added.

TAGS: dam, DENR, watershed

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