Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CNWD sheds light on Joint Venture Agreement with PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation

By Rosalita B. Manlangit

DAET, Camarines Norte, Jan 27 (PIA) – The Camarines Norte Water District (CNWD) here has clarified the terms of the joint venture agreement  it has entered into with the PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation for the operation of the water utility services.

CNWD manager Maria Antonia Bernardina F. Boma said that the water firm has entered into an agreement with a legal basis under Section 30 of PD 198 which states that a district shall have the power to enter into any contract with any person for the purpose of performing any functions of the district.

She said that the agreement between the CNWD and PrimeWater is under the JV scheme of the Public-Private Partnership program of the government and in accordance with the 2013 revised NEDA guidelines and procedures for entering into JV between government and private entities.

The agreement was signed January 14, 2016 between the CNWD and the PrimeWater for the latter to provide development projects to increase water coverage, water quality and a 24/7 water availability as indicators for the first five years of implementation.

She said that although CNWD has P204 million retained earnings which are enough for maintenance and operations, it cannot provide additional infrastructure development due to the previous loans from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

She said that salient features of agreement are: it is a contractual JVA not an incorporated for a period of 25 years; CNWD shall continue to exist with the Board of Directors and the General Manager who shall now be the Head of the Contract Monitoring Unit (CMU) to closely monitor the commitments embodied in the JVA.

Also water rights will remain with CNWD as part of the usufruct arrangement with PrimeWater and water rate increase shall comply with the LWUA guidelines and the latter shall still approved all rate adjustments.

Total investment of more than P593 million for the first 5 years or a total of P2.986 billion for the 25 years were indicated in the JVA.

CNWD shall receive a Fixed Revenue Share of P19 million for the first five years, which will increase by P1 M on year 6 and every 5 years thereafter. Prime Water shall pay the amortizations, principal and interest of the existing loans extended to CNWD.

She also said that retiring employees shall be given a retirement gratuity or package while all the remaining employees who will be absorbed by the PrimeWater will receive with an improved compensation and benefits package.

Some of the development plan for the CNWD for the first five years are administrative improvements like system improvements, service vehicle, office improvements, water truck, GIS subscription, WaterGEMS Subscription and capacity building; development of new sources like deep well set-up and accessories, water treatment, water tanks, electrical equipment and accessories and land acquisition; and the rehabilitation and expansion of water supply through distribution lines, boosting stations and provision of new water meters.

Boma cited that benefit for the consumers is that this will improve service and expand water supply coverage in the province and for the Camarines Norte this will improved climate for investment and tourism due to water infrastructure to cater additional needs while additional income to  local government units.

It is also expected that by the end of the JV project, the service coverage of CNWD would increase from 29.44% to 50.03% while the number of service connections will improve from 25,788 to 52,191.

Upon delivery of the entire plan, PrimeWater would have constructed and installed P2.986 B worth of property and equipment, which will be turned-over to CNWD by the end of the JV term.

PrimeWater is chaired by Manuel Paulo Villar, she said. (MAL/RBM-PIA5/Camarines Norte)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/871453868740/cnwd-sheds-light-on-joint-venture-agreement-with-primewater-infrastructure-corporation#sthash.hf1mgCRw.dpuf

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