THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) yesterday said a study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that they need P2.4 billion to build dams in Lusaran and Kotkot.

However, the National Government will not issue a guarantee for them to apply for a loan.

This was revealed yesterday by MCWD Acting General Manager Noel Dalena during the meeting of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) presided by Gov. Hilario Davide III.

Dalena made the revelation after Director Efren Carreon of the National Economic and Development Authority asked him what happened to the ADB study to develop Lusaran and Kotkot dams about 10 years ago.

Displaced persons

According to the feasibility study, a dam in Lusaran and Kotkot can produce 150,000 cubic meters of water daily.

Lusaran Lemuel Canastra, officer-in-charge of the Environment and Water Resources Department of MCWD, said if both projects push through, the government must relocate 3,650 persons in Lusaran and 1,450 persons in Kotkot.

The MCDCB passed a resolution proposed by MCDCB co-chairperson Bobby Abotiz for MCWD to host a forum to discuss the projects so these can be pursued.

Davide said MCWD’s problem is finding the money to finance projects that will raise water supply in Metro Cebu.

He said the relocation of people and the solution to geological issues can be addressed but funding must be found.

“Maybe we can seek the help of the National Government or from foreign-funding agencies like World Bank or ADB,” Davide said.

Not a priority

Carreon asked MCWD management about their plan for the dam projects.

“Are these considered a priority? Do you have initial discussions on how financing can be obtained and what is the mode of financing? Are you willing to update the feasibility study with MCWD as proponent? Or are you planning to engage in a joint venture or PPP (public-private partnership) agreement to realize these projects?” Carreon said.

Dalena said MCWD has been trying to implement both projects but the National Government did not give them the necessary guarantee in securing loans.

“Sad to say, morag dili pud mi priority sa (we are not a priority of the) government,” Dalena said.