Koronadal water district wants partnership with private sector

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 23 Apr) – Government-owned and controlled water utility firm City of Koronadal Water District (CKWD) is exploring a possible partnership with the private sector to finance its planned expansion projects.

Francis Sablon, chair of CKWD’s board of directors, said they are working on the forging of a joint venture agreement with a private company to facilitate the upgrading of its facilities and services.

He said two major private water service providers – Manila Water Company Inc. and Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. – have signified intention to finance the rollout of its lined up improvements.

Sablon did not cite the required investments or financing to address the planned developments but noted that the water utility could not provide for them on its own.

Based on the initial proposals they received, he said Manila Water’s tender appeared favorable to provide for the water utility’s requirements.

But he explained that should the board and local stakeholders agree to pursue a joint venture, it will still undergo various processes that could take several years.

Once it materializes, he assured that CKWD’s overall operations and the job security of their employees will not be affected.

In the meantime, Sablon said they are studying other options that CKWD may pursue to address its immediate needs, among them the installation of water treatment facilities and standby generators for its pumping stations.

He admitted that they are facing problems with water quality as some of their pumping stations still don’t have water treatment facilities.

The firm, which serves over 20,000 concessionaires, does not have a reliable standby generator that could ensure steady water supplies during power outages, Sablon said.

He said they also need to tap additional water resources as some areas have already been experiencing limited water supplies during the peak hours.

“Our water supplies could hardly reach elevated structures in certain periods due to low water pressure,” he said in a radio interview.

Sablon said they expect the problem to persist due to the growing population and economy of the city, which is the administrative seat and center of Region 12.

He said the demand for water services is seen to expand further in the coming years, with the transfer of more regional offices and the development of housing subdivisions, accommodation facilities and other businesses. (MindaNews)