Baguio to obtain $60M loan for sewerage project

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BAGUIO CITY – The city will be acquiring a $60 million will be acquiring a $60 million loan for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city’s sewerage treatment plant to ensure the proper treatment of waste water being discharged to the different bodies of water.

However, mayor Benjamin B. Magalong disclosed that the scheme that will be adopted is that it will be the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) that will obtain from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in behalf of the city while it will be the local government that will eventually pay the amortization of the aforesaid loan.

Earlier, the local government was setting its sights on a $100 million loan from the international financial institution through the environment department for the proposed rehabilitation and upgrading of the city’s sewerage treatment plant to increase its capacity and update the technology being used for the treatment of waste water being discharge to the different bodies of water around the city.

He admitted that it seems that the environment department had some financial issues in the take out of the loan that compelled the local government to find ways on how to avail of the loan using other concerned government agencies for the realization of the project geared towards ensuring the discharge of clean water to the bodies of water flowing to the lowlands.

According to him, the technology that will be used in the implementation of the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city’s sewerage treatment facility will be hybrid to ensure that the waste water that will be treated will be potable for the same to be re-sued for whatever purpose and to help in providing adequate sources of potable water for the increasing population.

The local chief executive pointed out that it is high time to rehabilitate and upgrade the city’s sewerage treatment plant, including the pipelines, to increase its capacity and improve its efficiency in the treatment of waste water to avoid discharging contaminated water into the water systems that will affect the potability of water flowing to the lowlands.

He claimed that financial experts are now working on the financial aspect of the loan to ascertain the appropriate and reasonable fees that will be imposed on the households that will be compelled to connect to the sewerage treatment facility to allow the loan to be paid within the 25-year repayment period.

At present, Magalong stipulated that the existing sewerage treatment plant is already operating beyond its capacity aggravated by the fact that only a minimal number of households are connected to the said system that is why there is wayward discharge of untreated waste water to the different bodies of water that cause the pollution of the river systems in the city.

He said that once the fees that will be charged to the households will be ascertained, the same will be subjected to the required public consultations to get the social acceptability of the city’s residents on the said matter, especially that it will involve the collection of fees among the households that will be connected to the upgraded sewerage system.

The city official also stated that while it is true that the upgraded sewerage treatment facility will be able to contribute in the steady supply of potable water, the same will be minimal compared to the water supply that will be provided by the proposed bulk water supply project.

By Dexter A. See

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