By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental provincial administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz said the capitol’s consultant will present the feasibility study on the bulk water project to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and members of the provincial government’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on June 19.
The presentation will focus on the specific direction of the project, including its business plans, needed infrastructures, budget, and plant sites.
Diaz said if Lacson and the TWG approve the presentation, it will also be revealed during the investors’ forum this month.
The capitol aims to hold the bidding for the bulk water project in July 2023.
Diaz also confirmed that San Miguel Corp (SMC) may join the bidding. With this development, there are now four possible investors in the project.
Earlier, representatives of Aboitiz InfraCapital and Prime Infra, which is owned by billionaire Enrique Razon, also indicated their willingness to invest in the project.
Diaz said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended technical assistance for the development of a bulk water supply project through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
He reiterated that the Embang and Malogo Rivers in the third district of Negros Occidental are being eyed as sources for the project.
Four local government units in northern Negros Occidental – the cities of Silay, Talisay and Victorias and the municipality of Manapla –expressed their intent to avail of bulk water supply under the PPP mode.
As to the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa), Diaz said he has yet to receive its letter of intent that will cite the specific volume of water it needs if it avails of the bulk water supply.
Baciwa’s general manager, Mona Dia Jardin, emphasized the immediate water supply needs of its consumers, stating that waiting for the provincial government’s bulk water project, which is viable in 3 to 4 years, is not feasible.