The Negros Occidental provincial government is on track for the scheduled bidding of the proposed P1.2-billion bulk water supply project in the first quarter of next year.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday there is continued interest from potential investors.
“As scheduled, we will have our bidding [in the] first quarter next year. Last time I asked the United States Agency for International Development [USAID] Safe Water, the feedback is okay. The interest is still there. For me, I will wait for the bidding day to find out how many are really interested,” he told reporters.
In June this year, the province completed the study for the Negros Occidental Bulk Water Project in partnership with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, Asian Development Bank and USAID.
Under a PPP scheme, the provincial government seeks to enter into a joint venture agreement with a private investor to fund the P1.2-billion project and would allocate P100 million as counterpart funding.
In August, representatives of companies that have expressed their intention to be part of the project attended the investor conference initiated by the provincial government.
Among these are Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., Manila Water Company Inc., San Miguel Corp., Suez Water Technologies, and Genesis Water Technologies Philippines.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Integrated Water Security Program, launched in cooperation with the USAID Safe Water Project Team, aims to increase access to resilient water supply among water-stressed communities, improve water resource management to ensure sustainable supply and strengthen water sector governance.
In 2022, data showed that groundwater availability in Negros Occidental was only at eight percent, creating an urgent need to utilize other water sources, including surface water resources, which have 92 percent availability. (PNA)