The Davao City Water District (DCWD) is confident it could deliver a long-term provision of potable water for residents of the second district, which has been lacking drinkable water for a long time.

This developed after the City Council finally granted the request of Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc (AAII) for additional allowable use for 85,258 square meter of land for the bulk water project, a partnership of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and J.V. Angeles Construction Corp.

DCWD spokesperson Bernard Delima said the project has two parts: the PHP10-billion hydroelectric-powered water treatment facility, which will be undertaken by Apo Agua; and the PHP2-billion reservoir and the laying of pipes project of the DCWD.

Delima said DCWD is already 60 percent complete for the second part. “We are ahead of the first part,” he said.

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The bulk water project could solve the water problem in the second district for the next 30 years. He said the Tamugan source could draw 109 million cubic meters of water a year.

He stressed that the river has an average flow of 12 million cubic meters per second. At present, Delima said DCWD will get only 4.35 million cubic meters per second so there is more for expansion.

After getting the approval of the City Council, the Apo Agua will move up to the next level of permitting from three government agencies before the project is implemented.

Cirilo Almario III, General Manager of Apo Agua, said the next process is getting the Certificate of Eligibility to Convert from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Land Conversion from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Apo Agua will also seek approval from the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to allow the company to put up an industrial facility since the land is agricultural.

“Apo Agua is hopeful that all the remaining permits will be acquired by January 2018 so that we can start the physical construction right away,” Almario told reporters at Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Almario said the timeline for completing the permitting process is between January and February. “Hopefully it will be faster before the physical construction,” he added.

The project, Almario said would create 900 jobs for Dabawenyos giving priority to the people living in the host communities.

Almario said Apo Agua is also committed to light up the paths leading to the residential area by using higher lampposts. He said this was requested by the host community.

Apo Agua was thankful to the city council for the approval on its application for allowable use for the land at Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District where it will put the water treatment facility for the P10-billion Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project.

The implementation period could run in three years.

“Apo Agua appreciates the city council’s great work and unwavering commitment to Davao City. The long journey we took manifested their concern for the protection of the interest of the city, its people, and the environment,” Almario said. (LCM/PNA)

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