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World Bank approves $275M to finance water services in the Philippines

May 24, 2012 (TSR) - The World Bank has approved $275m in financing for a project to help improve water services in Metro Manila, the Philippines.

The Metro Manila wastewater management project (MWMP) is aimed at improving wastewater collection and treatment practices in several catchment areas and help advance the water quality of Manila Bay.

The Philippines Department of Finance secretary Cesar Purisima said, “Water quality improvements in rivers and other water channels in and around the metropolis including Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay will help to improve the environment, and eventually enhance recreational and tourism opportunities.”

Most large bodies of water in and around Metro Manila are biologically dead? All the living marine life - both plants and animals - are either dying or dead already. Water from rivers and lakes are no longer safe to drink, and require intensive treatment in order for the water to become potable. The Metro Manila wastewater management project will help improve the water quality of Manila Bay in the Philippines.

Metro Manila generates about two million cubic meters of wastewater per day, just 17% of which gets treated before being discharged into water channels in and around the metropolis, which mostly end up in Manila Bay.

A 25-year programme has been planned by the two water concessionaires Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services to address the problem.

MWMP will assist Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services by supporting investments to increase collection and treatment of wastewater from households and other establishments in the metropolis.

The two water concessionaires will receive the loan proceeds from Land Bank of the Philippines, which is the borrower of the World Bank loan.

One component of the project includes a $193.4m investment by Manila Water comprising of a sewage treatment plant and associated sewage lines covering North and South Pasig.

The other component includes a $178.3m investment by Maynilad in sewage treatment plants and associated wastewater conveyance systems in Quezon City, Pasay, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, and a septage treatment plant in the southern part of Metro Manila.

The country’s Supreme Court passed a landmark decision in December 2008, mandating the clean up, rehabilitation, and restoration of Manila Bay’s water quality to levels fit for recreation.

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