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PHL water execs share center stage in Korea

Leaders of Metro Manila’s water-supply system discussed in Korea’s two major water conferences this week the 10-year water-security program under the Duterte administration and the successful public-private partnership (PPP) among Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water, Maynilad and Bulacan Bulk Water’s Luzon Clean Water Corp.

MWSS Administrator and Asia Water Council Director Reynaldo V. Velasco served as one of the resource speakers at the first Asia International Water Week and the World Water Cities Forum in Gyeongju, Korea, that began on Tuesday. Manila Water President Ferdinand M. de la Cruz and Maynilad President Ramoncito Fernandez also acted as resource speakers and delivered separate presentations on Drinking Water and Sanitation at the AWC Water Project Forum.

“The Korea water conference is an important event to further promote the country’s effective, participative and successful PPP legal framework started in 1997 by President Fidel V. Ramos through a concession agreement in the water industry that the Philippines through Manila Water is now exporting to Asean countries like Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia,” Velasco said.

Organized by AWC led by K-Water President Lee Hak-soo, the AIWW is a triennial water gathering for multistakeholders to seek tangible implementation for resolving Asian water problems and a forum for sharing AWC’s professional achievements, as well as knowledge sharing with other professionals’ experience and networks.

Velasco is also the country’s official representative at the World Water Cities Declaration in the WWCF conference and the Water Declaration to the World in the AWC conference.

The three water leaders shared best practices of the 20-year successful PPP in the Philippines.

Before the MWSS’s privatization in August 1997, the water service coverage in Metro Manila only accounted for 53 percent and system water loss was more than half due to leakage, unmetered houses, or pilferage from the consumers.

The successful MWSS privatization in August 1997 during the Ramos administration has brought good results. As of this year, 95 percent of the service area in Metro Manila to include areas in Cavite, Rizal and Laguna now enjoy ample water supply. Despite their massive capital expenditures for improvements of water supply and wastewater system, both Maynilad and Manila still rank among the cities in Asia and the Philippines with lowest and affordable water rates.

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