San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has obtained the green light to commence Stage 3 of its Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project (BBWSP).

The listed conglomerate, in a statement, said its subsidiary Luzon Clean Water Development Corp. (LCWDC), signed agreements with the respective water districts in the municipalities of Baliwag, Hagonoy, Norzagaray, Pandi, San Ildefonso, San Miguel and San Rafael.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) approved last month the updated business plan of LCWDC, a consortium of SMC and K-Water Resources Corp.

“We are targeting start of operations by January 2023. With these agreements signed with the seven water districts, and with the MWSS having approved the updated business plan, we can now start preliminary engineering design, and then construction,” said SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon Ang.

The BBWSP Stage 3 entails the accelerated stage three system comprised of extension lines to be connected from the existing Stage 1 and 2 systems and construction of pumping station to provide supply to Pandi and Hagonoy, as well as augmentation of the supply to Sta Maria (Stage 2) and Bocaue (Stage 1) water districts.

Another component is the Norzagaray System, which involves the construction of 10 million liters per day (MLD) Norzagaray Modular Water Treatment Plant inside the MWSS Bigte Compound with pipeline connection to existing waterline to supply the beneficiary barangay (villages) of Norzagaray.

The Angat-Bustos Water Supply System involves building an initial 50 MLD water treatment plant, expandable to 100 MLD, at San Rafael, Bulacan, that will abstract raw water downstream of Bustos Dam, as well as pumping station and around 34 kilometers of primary pipelines.

This will also cover the additional water supply to meet the demand of Stages 1 and 2 Stage 3(c) Additional water supply from Bayabas-Maasim System to meet the demand of Stage 3(a) and the remaining municipalities of Bulacan.

Prior to the approval, MWSS Chairman and OIC Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said a review committee was created to ensure that the company’s future directions and priorities are in consonance with the BBWSP concession agreement.

“We have to ensure that the Updated Business Plan with its strategies benefits the consumers, the people of Bulacan,” said Velasco.

Velasco said the MWSS Board of Trustees was concerned with the improvement of quality of life and the assurance of continued water supply even during calamities.

LCWDC started operations of BBWSP Stage 1 and Stage 2 in January 2019 and April 2019, respectively.

The Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project produces an average volume of 160 MLD for around 165,000 households, and has a maximum capacity of 388 million liters per day.

Since the 1920s, Bulacan has been the backbone of the MWSS water supply as the province hosts the Ipo and Angat Dams but was not benefitting from these until the Luzon Clean Water Development Corp. became the third MWSS concessionaire.

The Bulacan towns already benefitting from BBWSP are Balagtas, Bocaue, Marilao, Meycauayan, Obando and San Jose Del Monte (Stage 1); and Bulakan, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Malolos, Paombong, Paridel and Sta. Maria (Stage 2).

By Jordeene B. Lagare
September 20, 2021