THE Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) continues to ramp up efforts to speed up the completion of water development and rehabilitation projects in areas devastated by both natural and man-made disasters.
According to LWUA Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Eileen Dela Vega, the agency is continuously coordinating with the local government units (LGUs), water districts, and affected residents in Typhoon Yolanda-hit areas and those ravaged during the siege of Zamboanga City in 2013 and Marawi City in 2017.
“Works on these projects have not stopped as LWUA has been in constant communication with the intended beneficiaries to expedite project procurement, implementation and liquidation, and utilization of remaining funds,” Dela Vega said.
However, she said, the last two years had been more challenging due to the physical restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed down the work pace.
Dela Vega added that the P371 million project under the Tacloban City Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (YCRRP) has been completed for Yolanda rehabilitation.
Also, the implementation of the P660 million NHA-YPHP, while still ongoing, is fast-tracked through the clustering scheme of project implementation.
Another P77 million project is essentially completed, save for a few projects with ongoing project savings utilization.
In the case of the P575 million Zamboanga City Z3R Project, LWUA Acting Deputy Administrator for Engineering Service Jocelyn Guce added that start-up delays were caused initially by multiple failures of bidding and later on by sites of wastewater treatment plants that prevented further construction as local government units were yet to find appropriate relocation sites.
For Marawi, the experienced delays are also attributed to multiple bidding failures aside from issues on project site acquisition.
“We are now reviewing the process to hasten the procurement and re-bidding,” Guce said. She added that LWUA had also instructed contractors to submit catch-up plans to avoid further delays.
In 2021, LWUA completed 40 water supply projects that would benefit more than two hundred thousand additional households a total of 5.24 million Filipinos nationwide enjoying clean, safe, and affordable water.