SEN. GATCHALIAN ON KALIWA DAM CONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL
Voices of MWSS Administrator Gen. Reynaldo Velasco, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
SENATE INVESTIGATES WATER CRISIS IN METRO MANILA
“Nakaligo na po ako pero tabu-tabo pa rin” this is the opening statement of Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos in the Senate Committee Hearing about the Public Service on Water Shortage on Tuesday to inform the senators and other officials that the city has now had a water supply with low pressure except for three barangays.
In Rizal Medical Center, Dr. Relito Saquilayan, Medical Center Chief of the hospital said there was a point in time that they asked pregnant women to buy their own water bottles which would be used to clean their babies. Due to the water crisis, the hospital allocated about 50,000 pesos for bottled water while 260,000 was for upgrading pumps.
In the case of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), Dr. Joseph Jaro said the agency is now 80 percent operational following what happened recently.
MWSS RO ON PENALIZING MANILA WATER
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Chief Regulator Patrick Ty clarified, they can penalize Manila Water for the damage it caused to the customers but did not exactly mention when it will be given. Ty said the sanction might be handed on June or July.
“We don’t want to say right now yes or no because any statement I make right now can be used against the MWSS and the Republic of the Philippines. So, I want to observe due process so I cannot answer right now” this is the statement Ty has given on the hearing when Senate President Vicente Sotto III inquired if they would.
Earlier, MWSS state on House Committee Hearing on Monday that they don’t have the authority to impose a penalty to the agency in connection with the water interruption on March 8, 11 and 12.
CONSTRUCTING AND PLANNING OF KALIWA DAM
Senator Franklin Drilon inquired about the present water supply-demand gap and if Manila Water has a master plan to address the problem.
Although Gen. Reynaldo Velasco of MWSS admitted they do not have a master plan to solve the water shortage but they are fixing it.
Senate Committee Chairwoman Grace Poe scrutinizes the contract between MWSS and the Chinese firm on constructing Kaliwa Dam. “Magiging sa China ba ng tubig pag hindi tayo nakabayad? Hindi nila pwedeng dalhin ang tubig sa China pero pwedeng taasan ang singil sa atin,” Poe made the statement during the Public Service hearing on water shortage.
However, Velasco denied that China will own the water coming from Kaliwa Dam if the Philippines failed to pay the loan it borrowed. The MWSS administrator said that “it does not exist” within the signed contract.
Aside from Poe, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also inquires why MWSS choose China over Japan to construct the Kaliwa Dam.
According to Velasco, 27.7 kilometers is the delivery point of Kaliwa Dam from Teresa, Rizal while the Japanese firm offered delivery point only from Tanay which means it needs another tunnel to connect it to Antipolo and Teresa.
On the other hand, Sen. Gatchalian believed both proposals from the Chinese and Japanese firms are almost the same with a little bit different where Japan suggests providing 500 mld while China would give 600 mld but the cost is half. The Japanese firm would grant the Philippines about $400 million while China would present around $800 million.
In response to this MWSS said the Japanese proposal was handed to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) but it did not recognize it. (CHAY ALDAY/LEAGUE ONLINE NEWS)