Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System administrator Reynaldo Velasco said Tuesday the government may start the construction of the P18.75-billion Kaliwa dam project next year.
The dam project is situated at Barangay Pagsangahan, General Nakar and Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, in Quezon province.
The project involves the construction of a dam with a discharge capacity of 600 million liters per day and a 27.7-kilometer raw water conveyance tunnel with a design capacity of 2.4 million liters per day.
Velasco said the funding proposal for the first phase of the project—the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project—was submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority on Jan. 17.
The Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee on March 21 confirmed the funding shift of the project from the public-private partnership mode to official development assistance.
“The papers are now in the Neda. I think they are just waiting for the endorsement of (the Department of Finance) to China. In the meantime, we are already doing our homework preparing for the papers of the bidding so that the moment the funding will come ,we can start the bidding,” Velasco said.
“We hope that the bidding will be done this year and hopefully the construction will start next year. We hope that the bidders will be good enough to finish the construction in four to four-and-a-half months. If we will be able to finish the Kaliwa project, that will assure us already of (water over) the next 20 years.”
Velasco said the government was also planning the Laiban dam project, which is three times bigger than the Kaliwa dam.
Kaliwa and Laiban dam are the two flagship dam projects proposed by MWSS under the New Centennial Water Project.
The Laiban dam will act as a catch basin as well as flood control mechanism to moderate the flow of runoff surface water and prevent sudden flooding in Metro Manila’s lower reaches and environs.
Laiban Dam is a bulk water supply project that has been approved, deferred, canceled and re-approved since it was first proposed in the late 1970s. It was suspended in 1989 during the administration of President Corazon Aquino.
Following the privatization of the MWSS during the time of former President Filder Ramos, the implementation of the Laiban Dam Project was left hanging as Maynilad and Manila Water Services Inc. took over the west and east water sectors of Metro Manila.
Laiban was approved for funding under a China loan during the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo in April 2007, but was ordered canceled again in 2008.
The project was repackaged under the Water Security Legacy Plan of MWSS as an integrated dam system under former President Benigno Aquino III.
Now called New Centennial Water Source Project, the integrated dam system consists of Kaliwa Dam and Laiban Dam with a hydropower component.