MWSS officials address the apparent haste in the tender of the Laiban dam project.
SAN ANDRES, Tanay, Rizal – We were wondering why Sofia de la Rosa seemed a little agitated with our presence. After all, it’s not every day that visitors bother to come to this remote barangay nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre range.
In the course of our conversation, the barangay captain of San Andres also kept telling us that her people will not leave this village unless they are paid proper compensation by San Miguel.
THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) could be exposing itself and the government to undue financial risks under a negotiated deal with San Miguel Corporation to build the P52-billion Laiban dam. But the state agency tasked to evaluate the soundness of large-scale infrastructure projects has been unable to come to the aid of the MWSS – which may not even welcome such in the first place.
Like the rest of the public, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has been kept in the dark regarding the details of the proposed joint-venture agreement.
The Lematin River forms the western arm of the proposed Laiban Dam watershed and reservoir. This river supports seven of the eight barangays that will be submerged when the dam project finally pushes through.
Last of Two Parts The first part of this report reveals how secrecy and precipitate haste mark the tender by the state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the P52-billion Liban Dam project in Tanay, Rizal. THE PROPOSED joint-venture deal between San Miguel Corporation and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to build […]
THE GOVERNMENT is giving bidders only five working days to initiate a challenge to the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Corporation – the food-beverage giant controlled by Marcos crony Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. – to build the P52-billion Laiban dam in Rizal province, potentially one of the biggest infrastructure projects to be launched by the Arroyo administration.
THEIR PLANNED joint venture now hangs by a thin thread, but squabbling partners Barbados-registered Smartmatic International and local counterpart Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) have also yet to tie down many loose ends in their winning bid to automate the 2010 elections.
Chief among the concerns are security issues now being raised by computer experts, nongovernmental groups, and even members of the Commission on Elections Advisory Council (CAC) that oversaw the protracted, if transparent, bidding process. These unresolved security issues have raised the specter of an automated exercise where the cheating will not just be as fast as the counting, but harder to detect as well.
THE COURT and not the boardroom looks like the next destination of the two proponents of the yet unborn joint venture project that was supposed to give the Philippines its first national automated elections in May 2010.
The parties call their differences “irreconcilable,” and by the letter of the existing Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), the conflict may be resolved only through tedious and costly arbitration in Singapore, under the commercial arbitration rules of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce.
NELSON MARTINEZ has only one child, but he says getting by each day has become even tougher because oil price hikes have diminished his earnings.
The 46-year-old who drives his own jeepney for a living complains, “It’s the little people who have been hit, and it’s hitting us hardest in the pocket.”
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