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Manila Water to spend P115B on pipes, STPs

LISTED Manila Water Co. Inc. will spend P115 billion to expand its sewerage coverage within its concession area.

In a statement on Monday, the Ayala-led East Zone concessionaire said the amount would be used to build new water treatment facilities and enhance existing ones.

“Since 1997, when we took over the East Zone, we have spent P38.5 billion on our wastewater programs from collections of only P36.9 billion. So, we have excess investments of P1.6 billion and we expect this trend to continue,” Manila Water Chief Operating Officer Abelardo Basilio said.

To complete its sewerage program, the listed water firm needs to lay an additional 500 kilometers of pipes in public and private roads.

This will bring wastewater from households and establishments in the East Zone to sewage treatment plants (STPs) to ensure that wastewater released into Manila Bay complies with pollution control standards.

The budget also includes the construction of system projects covering 11 sub-catchment areas to be implemented in two or three phases.

Seven projects with an investment of P38.4 billion are set to begin construction between this year and 2022, while the rest will start from 2023 onward.

The STPs in the pipeline are designed to collect and treat up to almost 950 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater from Manila Water’s coverage area until its concession agreement ends in 2037.

The amount also entails the rehabilitation of existing sewer lines and the upgrade of currently operating STPs to comply with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ administrative order that covers biological nutrient removal in the treatment process.

Manila Water reported the Ilugin Sewage Treatment Plant was nearing completion and expected to be completed by 2020. This facility will serve the sub-catchment area, covering communities in and around Pasig City.

More system projects are also scheduled to go online, such as the Mandaluyong West and San Mateo-Rodriguez sewerage system projects, which will serve more than 1.3 million people come 2037.

“For most cases, Manila Water also acquires the land where the STPs are put up. Among the Metro Manila governments, Marikina is way ahead with an 80 percent coverage all spent for by Manila Water, and [Marikina City] Mayor [Marcelino] Teodoro wants 100-percent sewerage in the next two years. We will do that and that will make Marikina our model,” Basilio said.

Pasig Mayor Victor Ma. Regis “Vico” Sotto also intended to fast-track the city’s sewerage projects and “we are working closely with him because we have the same objectives of making sure that only treated water is released into Manila Bay,” he added.

To date, Manila Water operates 38 STPs and 2 septage treatment plants with a total capacity of 310 MLD.

Manila Water shares increased by 30 centavos or 1.35 percent to close at P22 each on Tuesday.

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