Bacolod City – The provincial government of Negros Occidental is looking for investors for its water security plan, under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) scheme.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, who spoke on the financing challenges and opportunities for Negros Occidental’s water security plan at the 2nd Philippine Water Challenge and Water Forum 2022 recently, said that by joining the forum “we may able to attract investors” and link up with companies through their Corporate Social Responsibility offices, which they can tap for their environment-related projects, such as reforestation, and doing away with open defecation.
The forum was also attended by companies like San Miguel Corporation, the MVP Group of Companies, Ayala Corporation, among others.
Lacson, who was accompanied by Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said the planned bulk water project of Capitol, needs a PPP if there is a willing investor.
He also said that the provincial government will convene its newly created water security council on September 16, to review and approve a provincial integrated water security plan with the USAID Safe Water assistance.
In his presentation during the water forum, Lacson said “The Plan will serve as our roadmap for achieving water security, and serve as a guide for Municipal Water and Sanitation (WASH) plans, that integrates water resource management and coherence of policies for service provision and resource management.”
He reported that Negros Occidental is in the process of approving its provincial water security plan “knowing the severity of the problem we have taken affirmative actions in increasing investments, improving capacities of water service providers, planning for long term source development, and protecting and conserving our watersheds.”
Lacson admitted that financing is a major challenge.
“We cannot depend on public resources alone, rather we should set the enabling environment for us to leverage private resources, user fees and household investments,” he stressed.
Lacson noted that three out of 10 Negrenses have no access to safe water supply. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)