P609B Laguna Lake rehab backed

    Urgent. The LLDA has noted the need to immediately address the siltation, industrial pollution, sedimentation and lake-shore flooding of Laguna Lake.

    The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) is supporting an unsolicited proposal of a private consortium to rehabilitate and develop Laguna de Bay to address problems in siltation, industrial pollution, sedimentation and lakeshore flooding.

    Jaime Medina, LLDA general manager, said the agency’s board of directors has endorsed to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) this week the proposed P609-billion project “after months of review and evaluation.”

    Last year, LLDA sent a memorandum to the Office of the President stressing the urgency of rehabilitating the waters of Laguna Lake to sustain and enhance aquatic life and turning it to an effective domestic water source.

    Medina said the project is being reviewed by the NEDA to determine the reasonable rate of return and other parameters for negotiation.

    He said the board has determined the proponent, led by Taguig Lake City Development Corp. with two foreign companies as partners, has the experience, expertise and track record in undertaking the project.

    Medina said the proponent has obtained original proponent status which gives it authority to match better offers submitted by rivals when a Swiss challenge is undertaken.

    The project will be undertaken through a build-own-operate scheme.

    The project will be developed in five to 10 years and will involve the dredging of approximately 800 million cubic meters of silt and mud.

    The proponent also offered to give assistance to affected fisherfolk and other stakeholders.

    Other activities include the transfer and development of pre-identified catchment area, soil treatment, ground improvement and development and construction of a water treatment facility.

    Medina added that the proponent will finance, construct, operate, maintain and own facility and can collect fees and charges to recover investment while the government will provide the authorization and assistance in securing the contract.

    The government has the option to buy the output or service provided by the operator.

    The Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines, with around 100 rivers and streams draining into it.