Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles urged solons to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation on the controversial and allegedly anomalous awarding of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS-KDP) to a Chinese firm that has inadequate requirements, saying that government should ensure that the critical water supply project is awarded to a company that has the capacity to successfully undertake the project.
According to Nograles’ filed House Resolution, a Commission on Audit (COA) Memorandum dated June 10 that was later released on July 18, said a Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) technical working group confirmed that three Chinese contractors had been shortlisted for the KDP despite lacking prequalification requirements.
“We have to make sure that no special treatment is being given to project contractors and all involved parties.”
The same House Resolution also pointed out that the Notice of Award was issued prior to the accomplishment of the Notice to Proceed, which was held due to incomplete requirements on the part of the Chinese contractors.
“It is imperative that an investigation on the flagged awarding of KDP to Chinese firms be conducted,” stressed the solon.
“If we are serious about solving the water crisis in Metro Manila, we have to make sure that no special treatment is being given to project contractors and all involved parties, and that every precaution is taken to vet those bidding for this crucial project,” added the lawyer.
The P18.7 billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Damn Project (NCWS-KDP)—which has been in the pipeline since 1967—is expected to provide another water source for the growing population of Metro Manila, by providing an additional 600 million liters of water per day.
“I urge my colleagues in the House to immediately conduct an investigation and hearing on this issue.”
Despite controversies hounding the project, the MWSS said the KDP is already a done deal, which the young lawmaker is challenging.
According to Nograles, “only after those involved in this mess have explained how such basic procurement standards can be cast aside and steps are taken to properly bid out this project to a deserving contractor can we call this a done deal.”
“I urge my colleagues in the House to immediately conduct an investigation and hearing on this issue, as our inaction could result in a dam project that will be a massive waste of taxpayers’ money—one that will be unable to contribute to efforts to address Metro Manila’s water crisis.”