• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Four investors have now expressed their interest in the Bulk Water Project of the provincial government of Negros Occidental, disclosed Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz yesterday.
While they verbally expressed their intention, Diaz said no proposals have been submitted to the provincial government, as of this time.
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is set to hold an investor’s forum for its bulk water project in June.
Regarding rumors that an investor already backed out of the project, Diaz stressed that it has not even started yet, in the first place.
There is nothing to say, until everything is formalized, he pointed out.
With the looming food and water crisis, not only in the country, but the whole world, Diaz said that Negros Occidental has to be in a better position to be prepared for any eventuality.
Our strategy, regardless of what will happen in the world, as long as we take care of our people, their basic needs, we can prevail on whatever challenges we will see in the future, he further said.
The surface water of two big rivers in the third district of Negros Occidental are to be tapped by the bulk water project of the provincial government.
On the other hand, experts from the University of the Philippines-Los Baños are currently in Negros Occidental to study the Bago River Watershed area.
Diaz said they are studying the vulnerability and high risk areas in terms of flood, drought, landslide, and fire, at the Bago River Watershed, that can be determined scientifically.
They will come up with a detailed evaluation which will be submitted to the provincial government, he added.
Diaz further said that the study will serve as a guide for local government units, such as Don Salvador Benedicto, Bago City, San Carlos City, and Pulupandan.
Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that the watershed irrigates 13,277 hectares of rice farms and 500 hectares of sugarcane plantations.*