Participation of stakeholders in EIA of water project pushed

A CIVIL society organization is urging the consortium implementing the bulk water project to allow the stakeholders to join in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) phase of the project.

“We want stakeholders to be actively involved in their EIA process like scoping, consultations on the ground, so all issues can surface and be considered in setting up their study,” said Mary Anne Fuertes, Interface Development Interventions executive director, whose organization is part of the Water Management Council.

The participation of the stakeholders in the EIA is crucial, said Fuertes, because it during this phase “that they can present (proofs) if the project is not destructive to the environment, its expected environmental and social costs or impact, and the mitigating measures they can put up.”

Fuertes said her group was able to attend a scooping event in Gumalang last month even when the notice was short.

Lawyer Bernardo Delima Jr., spokesperson of the Davao City Water District, explained that scooping refers to areas identified for the transmission system of the project, in this case Tawan-tawan, Wines, and Gumalang, all in Baguio District.

“The consortium sends out invites addressed to the Water Management Council,” Delima said, even as he identified the extraction points as Tawan-tawan and Wines, while a water treatment plant will be put up in Gumalang which will be delivered to reservoirs in Cabantian, Tugbok, Mandug, and Tibungco.

The P10 billion project, which is expected to be completed in 2019, is a consortium of the water district, and the partnership of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures and the JV Angeles Construction and Development Corp.

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