The Davao City Water District (DCWD) is keen on pursuing the septage treatment plant (STP) project but the proposed memorandum of agreement with the local government is still pending in the City Council.
DCWD deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod, in an interview, said they are still negotiating with the City Council on the request for the proposed MOA.
The said project is pursuant to Ordinance No. 0363-10, which gives the local government authority to establish the “Septage and Sewerage Management Program of Davao.”
“We are still working it out with the City Council because we have to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the city regarding the location of the treatment facility,” said Duhaylungsod.
“We have been working this out for quite a long time already because the City Council requested some changes. But we understand that because they are also protecting the interest of the LGU,” she added.
“It has once progressed to second reading last year but it was reverted to the city legal (Office) to be checked for some infirmities. The proposed MOA has been passed on first reading already and we are waiting for its second reading,” Duhaylungsod said.
“We cannot move forward without the MOA with the city. Our move now is to continue to negotiate with the council. Although we were also glad that it was previously included in the State of the City Address of the Mayor who considers it a priority project,” she added.
The DCWD is ready to implement the project once approved.
“We want this to be implemented already especially now that there are incidences and reports from concerned agencies of high coliform especially in the coastal areas,” said Duhaylungsod.
In September this year, the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau in Davao Region reported that the level of disease-causing coliform bacteria in Davao River is at 900,000 most probable number (MPN) per 100 milliliters (ML).
Duhaylungsod reported that there are no operational treatment facilities in the city yet other than private desludgers.
The establishment of the STP aims to reduce the pollution attributed to untreated septage discharge to protect the water resource, to improve water quality, sanitation and public health conditions, and provide efficient and affordable septage desludging services initially to existing DCWD customers.