THE Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is urging Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa) to establish its own wastewater treatment facility through acquiring loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of MBCCI, said the government bank has a new financing program to assist water districts establish its waste water facility.
Carbon said the business group hopes that Baciwa explores the lending initiatives of the DBP to make the city compliant to Clean Water Act of 2004.
“The water district currently has no waste water treatment facility. By having one, we could avoid contamination of our aquifers, rivers and oceans caused by domestic wastes and insecticides, among other pollutants,” he added.
Citing Boracay Island in Aklan, the top tourist destination of Western Visayas, MBCCI said the recent rehabilitation efforts made the island-destination more attractive to tourists.
The “new Boracay” also boosted businesses there, the chamber added.
Its official stressed that sustainable tourism should come with responsible business activities.
Carbon said business should go for planet and people, then profit should come last. Sixty percent of the population is highly dependent on fishing for livelihood.
“Toxic wastes damage ocean biodiversity and deplete fish stocks. Thus, it destroys our ability to provide food for the growing population,” he said.
There is no specific figure yet as to how much can be loaned by water districts for the establishment of waste water treatment facility.
But the DBP is ready to sit down with local government units (LGUs) and water districts to explore such financing scheme, the business leader added.
MBCCI earlier urged Baciwa to grab the P3 billion in “all purpose” loan line being offered by the DBP.
This is particularly for a facility to improve its distribution system and increase water supply.
The bank informed the business chamber that it is offering the amount as omnibus loan line to the water district.
The loan can be used by Baciwa for the bulk water supply project, reducing non-revenue water, as take-out of its loan from Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), septage disposal project, and expansion purposes.
Citing the increasing water requirement of the city, Carbon reiterated the need for water district to grab the loan being offered by the bank.
He said that through which, the DBP will be working with Baciwa in helping the community to have ample water given the major investments pouring in Bacolod City.
“The bulk water project that we have waited for almost three years has been overtaken by big developments. To mention some, we already have Ayala, Megaworld, Cebu Landmasters, plus Dynamic is also building the Capitol Commercial Center,” Carbon said, stressing that “no water, no business.”