Korea’s third largest city and representative water industry city, Daegu, has submitted a proposal of cooperation project to the Philippine government through the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System.
This was announced by MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco who said the proposal was officially conveyed by a delegation from Daegu Metropolitan City led by Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs Yon Chang Kim.
The Daegu project proposal covers a government-to-government cooperation support for advanced water technology demand area; improvement of inefficient operation of water purification plant and sewage treatment plant; improper sewage discharge system improvement; and installation of water purification system.
“This is a welcome development for the Philippine water supply industry, particularly MWSS, following close bilateral relations forged during the recent visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Korea early this month,” Velasco said.
Also in the Daegu delegation were Park Gihwan, Director of Investment & Trade Division; Anthony Jung, Deputy Director; and Wonsuk Kee.
The cooperation project is expected to help MWSS address the problem of wastewater treatment and better water quality system. Aside from the application of local water and sewage treatment technology, customized new method for energy enhancement of water and wastewater treatment process will be applied.
Velasco added that with regard to improper sewage discharge system improvement, the proposal, once approved, will provide for diagnosis and maintenance of pipe network to prevent sewage leakage and inflow of nonpoint pollution sources. Advanced sewage management and treatment techniques will likewise be employed.
Water purification systems which will be installed is expected to resolve water shortage in underdeveloped areas where water supply is not provided. Small-scale water purification systems in accordance with the size of the residents will be established including a water intake network.
Daegu’s interest in the water industry is not new. It hosts the Korea International Water Week annually along with the World Water Forum held simultaneously where the MWSS chief along with Maynilad president Ramoncito Fernandez and Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz served as resource speakers in September last year.
Daegu City has a cooperation project on the water industry sector with China that includes a sewage treatment cooperation.
Velasco urged the Daegu officials to set up a Water Institute in the MWSS compound as the booming city is the site of the Korea Water Complex, one of the specialized industrial complexes in the city.
According to Vice Mayor Kim, Daegu’s water industry cluster has a water industry promotion facility with a water convergence research center, a water campus, and a global business center.
It also has a water-industrial demonstration complex.
Expected to be completed by the end of 2018, the water industrial cluster has attracted investments from 20 promising companies such as Lotte Chemical.
To complement the city’s traditional industries, Daegu is focusing on knowledge and technological innovations in the development of future industries such as intelligent automobile industry, high-tech medical industry, ICT industry and energy industry.
Its transportation system boasts of Sky Rail, a 23.95km-long bidirectional monorail line of Daegu Metro, which serves the city. The new system, which started service on 23 April 2015, is Korea’s first urban monorail transit system.
With the government’s Build, Build, Build program, MWSS is optimistic the proposal will be acceptable to the Philippine government, notably the MWSS Board of Trustees, to fast-track the improvement of the country’s sanitation and sewerage facilities as well as a possible setting up of a monorail transport system outside and within the masterplanned 79-hectare by Architect Jun Palafox.
Metro Manila and its environs are not yet 100 percent covered by wastewater treatment plants with actual coverage pegged at 14 percent or aggregate 22 percent to include desludging system.
MWSS concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, though, are committed to achieve full coverage by the end of their concession agreements in 2037.
Outside Metro Manila, the problem of sanitation and lack of waste water management facility has hounded Boracay and other tourist destinations.
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