Maynilad, Manila Water in JV to address Cebu water crisis

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WATER and waste water services provider Maynilad Water Services Inc. said it has entered into a joint venture with Ayala-led Manila Water Inc. to address the looming water crisis in deep well-dependent Cebu Province.

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Maynilad last week finalized an agreement with Manila Water to address the water crisis in Cebu, said Maynilad president and chief operating officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez.

“We already have a JV with Ayala Carmen Bulk Water to supply Metro Cebu water district,” Fernandez told reporters in an interview.

With the joint venture, Maynilad, which is part of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) Group of Companies, will increase the province’s water supply by at least 30 percent, Fernandez said.

He said Cebu presents a big opportunity because the province is largely dependent on deep wells for its water supply.

“There is great potential here,” Fernandez said.

Seventy percent of the water supply in Cebu comes from deep wells. Because of the prolonged El Nino, however, the wells in the province have been drying up and sea water has been seeping into wells.

“The water district gave us the go signal to increase the supply of water they are getting from us to support the city in its struggle in addressing water crisis,” Fernandez said.

Manila Water and Maynilad are the two largest shareholders in the project and Maynilad is targeting to roll out the project within the year, he said.

“Within this year, sana [hopefully]we can help with the supply. It is a crisis. We must act fast,” Fernandez said.

Maynilad is the water concessionaire for 17 cities and municipalities that comprise the West Zone of the Metropolitan Manila area. It is an agent and contractor of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

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