Negros Occidental sets bidders forum for P1-B bulk water project

By Nanette Guadalquiver

July 17, 2023, 6:47 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental provincial government will gather some five potential investors for its PHP1.2-billion bulk water supply project during a forum on Aug. 10.

Companies that have expressed intent to invest include the Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., Manila Water Company Inc., San Miguel Corp., Suez Water Technologies, and Genesis Water Technologies Philippines.

“The date of the investors coming here has been moved to August. That’s the latest,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Monday.

He added that if the Bacolod City Water District-Prime Water would submit a letter of intent to avail of the bulk water supply also on Monday, they can be included in the forum.

At least six local government units in the northern part of the province are expected to benefit from the development aimed to ensure the availability of safe, clean, and potable water for Negrenses.

The investors’ forum has been set after the province completed the study for the Negros Occidental Bulk Water Project in partnership with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, Asian Development Bank and United States Agency for International Development last month.

Under a PPP scheme, the provincial government seeks to enter into a joint venture agreement with a private investor to fund the PHP1.2 billion project, and would allocate PHP100 million as counterpart funding.

With the plan to use surface water from Imbang River and Malogo River in Silay City and E.B. Magalona town, the “project demonstrates the power of collaboration and shared vision in effecting initiatives of utmost importance and urgency, ensuring the availability of safe water to every Negrense", Lacson said.

In Negros Occidental, groundwater availability is only at 8 percent, creating an urgent need to utilize other water sources, including surface water resources, which have 92 percent availability. (PNA)