In a determined effort to improve Metro Manila’s overall sewerage coverage and wastewater management system, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Daegu Metropolitan City in a special ceremony at the Korea International Water Week in Daegu Exco last Sept. 12, 2018.
MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velasco signed the MOU with Daegu City Mayor Young Jin Kwon calling for mutual cooperation to meet head on challenges and opportunities that threaten the water supply system in the two metropolitan cities.
The MOU signing was part of the 2018 Korea International Water Week hosted by Daegu Metropolitan City where Velasco also served as one of the featured speakers at the 2018 International Water Business Workshop where he talked about water security and wastewater management as well as the relevance of the MWSS-Daegu tieup.
Both leaders acknowledged the need to form an intercity network by developing the best solutions for common water problems and integrated water management.
Daegu is South Korea’s third largest city and the MOU is a welcome development for the Philippine water supply industry, particularly MWSS, following close bilateral relations forged during the June 2018 visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Korea.
The MOU calls for the two parties to work together to develop technical solutions to address water resources related challenges; develop the water industries in MWSS service areas as well as in Daegu; and, strengthen cooperation among water institutions in cities and municipalities covered by MWSS and in Daegu.
Based on mutual trust, the two parties have agreed to collaborate and support efforts to
• Promote mutual cooperation to achieve the sustainable goals of MWSS and Daegu;
• Demonstrate leadership for water-centered urban development;
• Strengthen cooperation networks between water-related businesses, universities, research institutes, and water industry cluster-related organizations;
• Jointly select, develop and implement regular cooperation programs such as workshops, seminars, and conferences for mutual exchange of information, policies, and strategies necessary for water industry development;
• Encourage mutual participation in water-related events of MWSS and in Daegu;
• Strengthen information exchange and network between cities and institutions in order to cope with global water problems by developing integrated water resources management and seeking best solutions for water problems; and,
• Cooperate to pioneer new markets and share strategic technologies in relation to the two cities’ water and sewerage system.
The MOU will be automatically renewed annually.
Meanwhile, the MWSS chief expressed optimism for improved sewerage and wastewater management system in Metro Manila and the agency’s other serviced provinces following a formal meeting with Daegu Environmental Corporation Dr. Hyung Shin Kang and top DEC officials including actual on site visitation on the 10-hectare sewerage and wastewater treatment plant.
‘‘With the MOU with Daegu City, MWSS can now tap DEC to help and serve as third-party consultant in assessing the overall sewerage and wastewater management system in Metro Manila which still stands at 14 percent by both the two concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad,’’ Velasco said.
He added that government-to-government cooperation will bolster support for advanced water technology demand area; improvement of operation of water purification plant and sewage treatment plant; and, improper sewage discharge system improvement.
Daegu hosts the Korea International Water Week annually along with the World Water Forum held simultaneously where the MWSS chief along with Maynilad President Ramoncito Fernandez and Manila Water President Ferdinand dela Cruz served as resource speakers in September last year.
MWSS concessionaires, Manila Water, and Maynilad, though, are committed to achieve full coverage by the end of their concession agreements in 2037.