PAMPANGA

Kapampangan firm keen on joint venture with Angeles water district

THE Balibago Waterworks has expressed its desire to forge a partnership agreement with Angeles City Water District (ACWD) in order to provide safe and potable water to the people.

Balibago Waterworks senior vice president Criselle Panlilio-Alejandro said their firm is applying for eligibility to submit a comparative proposal for a Joint Venture (JV) Undertaking with the water district.

"Balibago Waterworks is very interested in participating in this bidding because both Balibago Waterworks and ACWD are the biggest water service providers of Angeles City," Alejandro added.

Balibago Waterworks is a private water utility that has been in operations for 62 years and currently has 68 municipal franchises in over 22 provinces throughout Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The company began operations in 1958 with the purpose of providing water supply and distribution services in Barangay Balibago in Angeles City and Barangay Dau in nearby Mabalacat City.

Alejandro said two of the company's representatives, vice president for accounting Marwin Manaloto and area manager Kathlien Salonga, went to the ACWD office at 9 a.m. of February 11, three hours before the 12 p.m. deadline, and officially purchased the eligibility documents amounting to P500,000.

Alejandro said she learned about the Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Submit Comparative Proposals (IAESP) from one of their employees, who lives in the service area of ACWD.

The Balibago Waterworks employee was paying his water bill and he saw the IAESP posted in the ACWD office bulletin board, according to Alejandro.

"He took screenshots of the bidding rules and forwarded it to me," Alejandro said.

The bidding was posted on February 4, 2020 and the project is the Financing, Development Rehabilitating, Refurbishment, Expansion, Improvement, Operation and Maintenance of the Water Supply and Septage Management System of ACWD and total project cost is P1,347,533,085, the Balibago Waterworks executive said.

According to the IAESP, negotiations ensued between ACWD and original proponent on the Joint Venture proposal, Alejandro said.

Subsequently, an agreement was reached between ACWD and original proponent to form an unincorporated joint venture to undertake the project, she added.

In compliance with ACWD Board Resolution 2 Series of 2020, ACWD, through its Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC), invited interested Private Sector Participant/s (IPPs) to challenge the JV Proposal by submitting a comparative proposal for the project.

Alejandro, however, said the IAESP did not mention the name of the original proponent nor the date that the JV Proposal was received by the ACWD.

Balibago Waterworks is serving four out of the 33 barangays in Angeles City. ACWD, on the other hand, serves the other 29 villages in the city.

"As a Kapampangan and Angeleño based company, Balibago Waterworks believes that of all the private water utilities in the country, it is the most suited to be the Joint Venture partner of ACWD in satisfying the water supply needs of the citizens of Angeles City," Alejandro said.

Regarding the septage management, Alejandro said that Balibago Waterworks has already been preparing to provide septage management services and will soon energize this aspect of its business.

Alejandro opined that "Balibago Waterworks is eligible to bid and win the challenge against the original proponent because it had, in fact, submitted an Unsolicited Proposal for the Upgrading, Financing and Expansion of ACWD."

The proposal of Balibago Waterworks was officially received by the secretary of the ACWD general manager on December 27, 2019, she said.

Alejandro said she has no idea why ACWD did not grant Balibago Waterworks the Original Proponent status when it had been in negotiations with ACWD chairman of the Board Bernie Cruz regarding a potential Joint Venture partnership for more than one year already.

Since the ACWD decided to choose another private sector participant's Unsolicited Proposal as its original proponent, Alejandrino said they will most likely revise their proposal depending on the terms and condition of the Tender Documents.


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