Koronadal Water dsitrict gets P5-M loan to upgrade, expand services

Daniel Landingin, LWUA's acting senior deputy administrator, said the financial assistance will be utilized to fund the long delayed repair and improvement of its treatment facilities and the construction of additional pumping stations in the area.

"We are focusing now on improving the quality of our services in preparation for the expansion of our concession base in the near future," said Landingin, who also acts as chair of the KWD's interim board of directors.

The KWD was placed under LWUA in March last year. But LWUA only managed to take full control of the water district's facilities last January due to a legal battle involving the firm’s former and current employees and officials.

For over two years, at least two factions claimed control of KWD and established separate offices in the city.  

LWUA is currently maintaining supervisory functions over the firm's critical operations through an interim general manager and board of directors. Its general operations are now manned by a locally hired workforce.

Landingin said their main priority is the immediate repair of the firm's P9-million treatment plant, which bogged down at the height of the conflict last year.

He said the treatment plant was earlier sent by the firm to its manufacturer for the repairs that reportedly cost at least P560,000.

The treatment facility was used by the firm to treat the presence of yellowish elements on the water that was reportedly caused by manganese and iron.

"These elements don't pose any danger to our health but they cause yellowish effects on our things when we wash them," he said.

Landingin said they are also set to construct at least two more pumping stations to augment the operations of its 11 existing pumps.

He said the operation of the additional pumps will allow the firm to accommodate additional concessionaires.

At present, KWD only has around 5,500 active connections out of the 15,000 open connections within its service area.

Landingin said they are currently coordinating with the city government to help establish additional potable water sources to allow them to accommodate the entire city, which is expecting a huge increase in population in the next two years due to the continuing transfer of various regional offices from Cotabato City.

He said Mayor Fernando Miguel initially agreed to study the possibility of tapping a major river in the city for the construction of a bulk water supply system and a water treatment facility.

"We're looking at a partnership wherein the city government will act as the bulk water supplier while the KWD will serve as its distributor," he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)