• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental is targeting the bidding of the P1.2 billion bulk water project by February next year.
Prior to that, there will be a pre-qualifying process of interested investors, said Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the Investor’s Forum yesterday at the Ayala Malls Capitol Function Hall in Bacolod City.
“This is to know, which of these interested parties are capable of undertaking the project,” Lacson said, noting that many of them have done similar projects in other areas of the country.
Barring any possible hitches, the awarding of the bulk water project may take place by April 2024, the governor said.
The USAID, through its Safe Water Project, which is assisting the provincial government of Negros Occidental, estimates an approximately 64MLD (million liters per day) water supply requirement for communities that can served by the bulk water supply from the Malogo River alone.
The provincial government is also tapping the surface water of Imbang River for the bulk water project.
The water districts in Talisay, Silay, EB Magalona, Victorias, Manapla and Bacolod have already indicated willingness to source their water supply from the Capitol bulk water project.
Lacson said it will be the investor responsible for securing the Environmental Compliance Certificate for the project.
“The obligation of the provincial government would be the right of way and to also put some financial support,” he also said.
“We would like to bring down the cost of potable water that will be produced by this project,” the governor said, although he did not reveal how much the Capitol will shell out.
Asked if the irrigation systems that sources water from the two river systems will be affected, he assured that “the provincial government will not sacrifice any sector for the project.”
“Our purpose really here is to secure potable water and also we will make sure that it will not affect any sector,” Lacson added.*