Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez on Sunday backed the implementation of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project that would provide water requirements for Metro Manila, and the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan and Quezon when completed in 2023.
Lopez, House committee on Metro Manila development chairperson, however, challenged the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to carefully look into the procedural issues of the project’s bidding process.
“No one is above the law,” he said.
Earlier, the Commission on Audit said the bidding for the Official Development Assistance-funded Kaliwa Dam project was done “in the guise of being a competitive procurement process.”
It raised alleged intention of a non-compliance to qualification requirements of two in three Chinese contractors.
During last week’s meeting with Lopez’s committee, newly appointed MWSS Administrator
Emmanuel Salamat told lawmakers that it would proceed with the Kaliwa Dam project amid several questions on the $211-million contract with China and its impact on the indigenous peoples community within the coverage areas.
Lopez underscored the importance of the full compliance of the MWSS with the CoA findings.
“I support all the initiatives, including this one to address the metro’s water woes. This dam is a very good project by the government,” he said.
Malacañang said it would look into the CoA report that the China Energy Engineering Corp. Ltd. was the lone qualified contract bidder.
“As a result, only the China Energy Engineering Corp. Ltd. qualified which is questionable considering that the two bidders were disqualified in the 1st and 2nd stages of the procurement process due to seemingly intentional purpose of the bidders not to comply with the technical working gorup requirements,” CoA’s June 10 audit observation memorandum read.