Businessman Enrique Razon yesterday hit the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for foot-dragging on its water project amid a worsening water crisis in Metro Manila.
Razon is chairman of Prime Infra which along with San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group, comprise Wawa JV Co. which is yet to obtain from the MWSS the the final approval for the construction of the Wawa bulk water supply project
“We are ready to move forward and have been proactively working with all stakeholders, public and private, to progress this project since 2018. Wawa is the fastest and least expensive water source development and comes at no cost to the government,” Razon said in a statement.
“We are hopeful that the final steps will be taken in the coming days to finally deliver a project of critical importance to the residents of Metro Manila,” he added.
The project aims to supply 80 million liters per day (MLD) of water in 2021 and over 500 MLD by 2025.
“Curiously the government seems to be desperate for new water sources, yet MWSS continues to drag its feet,” Razon said.
Wawa JV Co. warned that if not addressed immediately, the delivery of a new water source of such size by 2021 will be unlikely. It said the 80 MLD milestone for 2021 may face a year of delay as over seven months was already spent waiting for the final MWSS approvals.
Manila Water Co. Inc. has formalized its offtake agreement with the joint venture last August, after a series of technical workshops and review by MWSS and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.
It was followed by a series of public consultations all over the east zone from September 3-9 led by the MWSS Regulatory Office. Project details were presented to the public alongside the tariff impact before it was approved.
“While Wawa JV Co. on its side continues to move forward with the project on the basis that the August agreement signing was the takeoff point, at the moment, the MWSS continues to sit on the remaining approvals to finally move the project forward,” the company said.