An infrastructure-oriented thinktank blasted high-level officials of the Duterte administration for pitching the Kaliwa Dam project amid the worsening water crisis in Metro Manila.
“Only government officials horribly out of touch with the reality on the ground will try to make a pitch for the Kaliwa Dam amid the real, deepening water crisis felt by hundreds of thousands of households in Metro Manila. Shut it down, folks. What the public needs is actual running water in our faucets right about now, and not some callous, insensitive talk about the need for a new water source which will only come some few years from today,” said Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and Duterte’s former urban poor chief.
Kaliwa Dam pitch does not solve present woes
MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco recently said that construction of the China-funded Kaliwa Dam in Infanta, Quezon could provide another source of water amid the shortage in parts of Metro Manila
No less than Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also made a push for the Kaliwa Dam this week.
Dominguez said Manila Water's current service interruptions bolster the need for the dam's construction. "Absolutely. Had [the dam] been done before the water crisis, this had been much less serious or much less of a threat," he said.
Artificial crisis to justify Kaliwa Dam?
Ridon however said that all these talk about Kaliwa Dam only aggravates the situation on the ground.
“Everyone knows that Angat Dam has adequate supply, and Maynilad has no supply problems. Any talk about the Kaliwa Dam project only gives fuel to speculation that this is an artificial crisis created to justify the Kaliwa Dam construction. Tigil na po muna natin yan.”
Cross-border flow agreement should not be charged to customers
“In fairness to Manila Water and Maynilad, their agreement to conduct cross-border flow into the East Zone can hopefully provide immediate relief to affected households and businesses. We just hope that whatever costs arising from this arrangement will not be charged to East Zone customers.”
Government should expedite processes to increase East Zone supply
Ridon also said that government should assist Manila Water in expediting the commencement of operations of its Cardona treatment plant.
“During a crisis, every day counts. And the sooner that we are able to increase the East Zone’s supply, either through cross-border flow or through Cardona, will certainly be a relief to the public.”