By LITO RULONA
A NEW company has set eyes on the city, saying it can offer the Cagayan de Oro Water District a better deal and give its bulk water supplier a run for its money.
In a presentation before members of the city council’s public utilities committee on Friday, the Cagayan de Oro Water Technologies and Development Corp. claimed that it could supply COWD as much as 500 thousand cubic meters a day at a rate much lower than what Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc. is charging it, and way below the P16 per cubic meter asking price of the Manny V. Panglinan-owned Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp..
Rio Verde is selling treated water to COWD for P10.45 per cubic meter. In a notice sent to COWD last week, the Jose Alvarez-owned bulk supplier threatened to lower the water pressure unless the public utility firm agreed to pay over P16 per cubic meter effective Nov. 1. COWD rejected Rio Verde’s new price, saying it would be disallowed by the Commission on Audit.
Ed Walag, an engineer and Cagayan de Oro Water Technologies hydrologist, told Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr. and members of his committee that the new firm can bring the price of treated water to P10 or even P8 per cubic meter.
Walag said the company has new and state-of-the-art technology that could meet the growing demand of the city’s water consumers.
The company has expertise honed by years of experience in major hydraulics projects.
Walag said he has been doing consultancy work on the major hydraulics projects and has helped water districts in Cebu City and Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He is currently a consultant for a planned seven-megawatt dam project in Barangay Agusan, this city.
If plans don’t miscarry. Walag said the firm could immediately begin work to build a processing plant in Tibasak, Macasandig, using ground and river water.
He said the firm can construct a P100-million plant in less than two months.
“Ang Cebu walay tubig og gigamit namo ang dagat para duna sila’y tubig. That was approved by the National Water Resource Board. Wala gyu’y problema ang dinhi sa Cagayan de Oro tungod kay daghan kita og source sa tubig,” Walag said.
In the case of Cagayan de Oro, he said, a major source of water is the Cagayan River.
He said the firm also found a 1,307-thousand square meter catchment area found in the Balulang and Macasandig areas.
“These areas are a natural reservoir based on a ground water study. Dako kaayo ang iyang ground reservation. The company can invest on a plant at a much lower capitalization,” Walag said.
He said the company can also invest on a system that would tap ground water in Indahag, Carmen, Lapasan, Cugman and Macasandig. That, he said, would ensure easier distribution.
Cagayan de Oro Water Technologies vice president Felizardo Benedicto told local officials the firm can meet even a 500 thousand cubic per day demand.
COWD’s present requirement for the western parts of the city and Opol town in Misamis Oriental is around 60 thousand cubic meters a day.
Benedicto said the firm plans to make rooms for expansion.
“The system is modular. The company will be on a progressive style. Grabe kaayo kasubra ang tubig dinhi. We can get ground and river supply of water. Dapat affordable sa tawo,” he said.
The plant and at least 10 other facilities the firm plans to build would be solar-powered.