President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP) of Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. in partnership with the Davao City Water District (DCWD) at Apo Agua Treatment Plant in Barangay Gumalang, Baguio District, Davao City on Wednesday.
Considered the largest of its kind in the country, the project delivers 300 million liters of water daily to Davao City’s long-time water provider.
It also augments DCWD’s reliance on groundwater sources allowing the water utility company to recharge the majority of its wells.
In his speech, Marcos said that the construction of the project is a proven approach to combat water scarcity through the joint efforts of the local government and private entities.
“It is not just about supplying Davao City with bulk water, it is also about ensuring that its people are provided with clean water and to improve their quality of life. Now, the facility has been delivering 300 million liters of water per day to over one million households in Davao City,” Marcos said.
The President also acknowledged the Apo Agua of Aboitiz InfraCapital, the DCWD, and the city government of Davao for their efforts in realizing the project.
He also emphasized that the joint efforts of the public and private sectors in ensuring the protection and conservation of the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed and the management and rehabilitation of the watershed only showed that development can be pursued without compromising the environment.
“Thank you for showing us the deep well of potential that public-private partnerships hold, not just in securing water supply, but also in paving the way for enhanced economic growth, jobs creation, and improved standards of living for all Filipinos,” Marcos said.
The President also said that what this demonstrates is a proven approach to battling water scarcity, which is no longer a seasonal challenge but a perpetual threat that comes with climate change.
“It is for this reason that I continually stress the urgency of improving water security, and directed agencies concerned to expedite the completion of all water projects across the country,” he added.
He also underscored the importance of water security as he emphasized that any disruption to the water supply degrades the quality of life, dampens economic activities, and could fuel disorder.
Considered a state-of-the-art bulk water facility, it uses the Tamugan River as its water source and is designed using the water-energy-nexus system, which is a first in Southeast Asia that enables the facility to power itself through its hydroelectric power plant and contribute surplus energy to the grid.
Aboitiz Group president and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz said the project is a demonstration of how much can be achieved with unsolicited public-private partnerships.
“The success we celebrate today in Davao sets an example for our entire nation. This is the kind of PPP project we need in other provinces. We are not just inaugurating a project, we are launching a model for future endeavors,” Aboitiz said.
DCWD chairman Eduardo A. Bangayan said that the project was borne out of a need to keep up with and support the growth of Davao City.
He also shared that as early as 1993, DCWD started the groundwork for the project to address the increasing water demand of Davao City.
‘We understood the importance of a reliable water service for Davao City to become world-class,” Bangayan said.