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Maynilad allowed to draw water from Laguna Lake

Vol. XXII, No. 148 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Friday, February 27, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

THE LAGUNA LAKE Development Authority (LLDA) has approved in principle Maynilad Water Services Inc.’s petition to draw 300 million liters per day (MLD) from the lake in a bid to address the water shortage in Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite.

Both parties are now negotiating the appropriate amount of "management fee" Maynilad will pay LLDA for the latter’s efforts to keep the lake clean, largely by ensuring that surrounding communities and businesses dispose their waste properly.

LLDA spokesman Gerry M. Carandang said in a phone interview yesterday that the agency approved the P3.9-billion project in principle yesterday in a meeting with Maynilad. "It’s already approved in principleWe must approve it as soon as possible, since Maynilad is targetting to start the construction of the facility this year," he said.

In a separate phone interview, LLDA General Manager Edgardo C. Manda said: "We are negotiating the management fee that will be paid by Maynilad for us to maintain the cleanliness of the lake."

He added that both parties expect to come to an agreement on this fee "within 30 days."

In its proposal, Maynilad will take over the operation of the existing water treatment plant in Putatan, Muntinlupa that now draws 180,000 cubic meters per month of lake water to supply Ayala Alabang Village.

LLDA said in a statement yesterday that Maynilad will gradually implement the 300 MLD lake water extraction project. The first 100 MLD, to be drawn by a new P1.3-billion plant, will be made available by March 2010. By end-2011, an additional 100 MLD will be extracted from the lake. The final 100 MLD extraction capacity will be in operation by end-2014.

The Consunji-led water concessionaire has already conducted ground breaking for the 100-MLD facility early this month, but will initially provide 50 MLD.

The remaining 50 MLD in this first phase will depend on approval of the tariff hike application Maynilad has submitted to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

Maynilad Senior Assistant Vice-President for Engineering Julius S. Iglesia said the 300 MLD project will benefit a population of 1.5 million, and will increase Maynilad’s service level by 20%-25%. — Ava Kashima K. Austria


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