House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, on Tuesdau urged the two water service concessionaires to use the Sumag River Diversion Project as an alternative source of water supply.
Suarez said the Sumag River Diversion Project, located in Quezon province was suspended in 2016. It was intended to supplement water supply to the Angat Dam.
“Quezon province provided additional water supply during water shortage problems since the time of former President Noynoy Aquino,” said Suarez.
He said when his son, Quezon Governor Jayjay Suarez was elected in 2010, there were two contractors who were paid by Maynilad and Manila Water to connect a tunnel to the existing tunnel and diverted the water to Angat to increase its capacity.
He said the Sumag river will be connected to the Umiray-Angat Transbasin Tunnel and shall join the Umiray River supplying water to Angat Dam.
“The minority recommends revisiting the benefits of this project,” said Suarez.
Suarez said the Minority strongly urged the government agencies, especially the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), National Water Resources Bureau (NWRB), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the two water concessionaires to revisit the proposed Quezon project.
“No doubt, we need long-term solutions and these solutions are right in front of us. As a country surrounded by bodies of water, however, we shall be a living contradiction if this water shortage continues,” said Suarez.
Suarez expressed disappointment over the ineffectiveness of the Manila Water Company, Inc. and Maynilad Waters Services, Inc. in implementing measures to solve the water crisis in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Suarez expressed confidence that the incoming legislators of the 18th Congress will remain true to their mandate.
“The Minority is grateful that those legislators who will serve another term will continue our work of putting forward laws and policies which are geared towards the promotion of public good and national development,” said Suarez.