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Villar firm to invest Php 6-billion in rehab of Leyte water system

TACLOBAN CITY – The Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) has entered into a 25-year public-private partnership (PPP) with Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. for the rehabilitation of the water system covering this city and 7 municipalities in Leyte.

The Php 6.14-billion investment project aims the development of new water treatment plants, expand water treatment facilities, replace old pipes, install new pipelines, set up septage management, construct reservoir, and lessen non-revenue water consumption. 

Angelo Alain Flores, Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. business development officer, said they will invest Php 1.6 billion for the first five years and Php 1.4 billion from the sixth year to the 10th year of its operation, which includes the development of new sources in Cabayungan River in Jaro and Pongso River in Tunga, Leyte.

“We are here to support LMWD. We also need your support to fulfill our commitment to address the low pressure and non-revenue water, service coverage problem, and increasing water demand. Your source is surface water, and you do not have ground water in Leyte. Prime Water is committed to develop the 2 sources in the next 10 years,” he shared.

LMWD general manager Pastor Homeres clarified that the joint venture agreement is a partnership and not privatization of the water district.

“We need intervention to meet the 60.7 million liters per day demand by 2020. To develop new sources, finance future water projects, and improve water volume, we need capital expenditures, but we cannot do this if we only obtain a loan. Under this agreement, Prime Water takes charge of the operation and LMWD will be the regulatory body,” he explained.

The PPP also targets to increase water connections from 32.68% to 53.84% in the next five years.

To date, LMWD is only able to cater to 280 out 370 villages in the municipalities of Dagami, Tolosa, Tanauan, Palo, Tabon-Tabon, Sta. Fe, Pastrana and this city with a total of over 37,000 active service connections. Based on their water demand analysis, there is already a decreasing supply, and the demand gap is rising with 43.28% average consumption. 

Prime Water, a member of the Villar Group, has already entered deals with 70 water districts in 16 regions, providing water to more than 500,000 households and producing more than 300 million liters of treated water daily from the deep wells and surface water resources. It took over the operation of the water district on September 1, and leased some of LMWD’s Php 1 billion worth of assets after a month-long transition period. By Marie Tonette Marticio

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