Agency set to inspect bulk water project: exec

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is set to conduct its site inspection of the P10 billion bulk water project of Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc., company general manager Cirilo Almario III said on Tuesday.

Almario said during BizForum at Dermpath in SM City Davao that the permit from DAR, which would convert the project area from agriculture to industrial site, is vital before they could start the establishment of the facility.

The Tamugan area where the project would be set up is currently classified as a protected and agricultural site.

“We ensure that we are able to comply like preventing the cutting of trees and establishing infrastructure that is why we have yet to start to construct the bulk water project. It would be a ground for not granting a permit if we already established the project,” Almario said.

Once the permit is granted, the company will fast-track the establishment of the water facility and start operations by 2021. The company also vowed to set aside P6 million a year for host communities once its bulk water supply project starts operations.

Almario said the amount, which would be sourced from their revenues, would be the firm’s community share to five host barangays and one Indigenous People’s community. Each, he said, will gain P1 million a year.

“The amount would be allocated for the needs of the communities,” Almario said. Among the host barangays of the bulk water supply project include Tawan-Tawan, Wines, Gumalang, Tamugan and Tambobong.

The company also vowed to implement corporate social responsibility programs like medical missions and scholarships.

At present, Almario said they are securing permits before they could start constructing the bulk water supply project. He said it included the establishment of 6.8-hectare water treatment plant and 2.4 megawatt-hydroelectric plant in Gumalang.

The project, he said, would source from Tamugan River.

The bulk water supply project is a joint venture of Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc., which financed P10 billion for the project, and Davao City Water District (DCWD) that allocated P2 billion for the construction of primary transmission pipe mains and storage facilities.

A diversion weir will be set up in Tamugan, where there would be an eight-kilometer pipeline that would distribute the water to Gumalang, where the water source would be treated in the treatment plant.

The water from the treatment plant would be distributed to the eight reservoirs in Calinan, Tugbok, Cabantian, Mandug, Talandang, Dumoy, and Indangan.

With the bulk water supply project, Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod, deputy spokesperson of DCWD, said they could rest about half of the 60 production wells, which mainly sourced from the ground water in Dumoy.

“The water quality in Tamugan is also comparable with those in Dumoy. We also see the bulk water supply project as an ultimate solution to the water problems especially in the Second District,” Duhaylungsod said. (KMF)

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