Carmen bulk water supply project to service Cebu in June

By Ador Vincent S. Mayol |January 31,2014 - 12:23 PM

Officials of the Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. visit the intake plant in Carmen town after the signing of the P800 million term loan facility. (CDN PHOTO/Tonee Despojo)

A P1.1 billion water supply project that will produce 35 million liters of water daily to homes in central and northern Cebu will be completed in June this year.

Gerardo Ablaza Jr., chairman and president of the Manila Water Consortium Inc., said the project will supply water to households in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu and the towns of Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan, and Compostela.

“I hope in June 2014, we will come together to toast the water from Carmen,”  Ablaza said during yesterday’s ceremonial signing of its P800 million term loan facility at Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

Provincial Board (PB) Member Peter John Calderon said it took 10 years to seal the deal between the province and the Manila Water Consortium.

“What is important for the province is to deliver water (to those who need it). In months time, Cebuanos will benefit from this project,” he said.

The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), being the water distributor for these areas, will be the major recipient of the water supply project.

The proponents of the project are tapping Carmen’s Luyang River in northern Cebu in order to provide “affordable, plentiful water” to consumers in northern and central Cebu.

Under the joint venture officially called Cebu Manila Water Development Inc., the province will receive 49 percent of the shares while Manila Water will have 51 percent shares.

Carmen Mayor Martin Gerardo Villamor said he made sure that his constituents won’t be disadvantaged by the joint venture.

“Before reaching MCWD, Carmen becomes the first recipient of the bulk water project. The town’s water supply deficiency is being addressed,” Villamor said.

Carmen town through Villamor received P43.65 million from the developers.

Of this amount, P35 million is an advance “royalty fee” for tapping Carmen’s Luyang River.

Another P6 million is for the Luyang watershed protection while P2.65 million is intended for park development and a birthing center in the town.

A P35-million “track and field oval” stadium will also be built, Villamor said.

As host town Carmen, a third-class municipality with a population of 45,000, will be given 200 cubic meters of water per day for free.

The Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. earlier contracted an P800 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The Philippines Water Revolving Fund serves as the funder of the transaction.

The loan is intended to fund the remaining construction of facilities that’s incorporated in the overall design of the Cebu Bulk Water Project.

With the bulk water project, the Cebu Manila Water Development Inc. is hoping to address “the water supply gap against the customer demand” in the service areas.

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