By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
House Assistant Majority Floor Leader Fidel Nograles (Rizal) is seeking a congressional inquiry over the alleged anomalous awarding of the Kaliwa Dam Project (KDP) to a Chinese firm despite inadequate requirements.
Nograles said government should ensure that the critical water supply project is awarded to a company that had the capacity to successfully undertake the project.
Nograles cited state auditors’ findings in its 2018 annual report, in which the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) technical working group confirmed three Chinese contractors had been shortlisted for the KDP despite lacking prequalification requirements.
The neophyte congressman also stressed that the notice of award was issued prior to the accomplishment of the Notice to Proceed, which was held due to incomplete requirements on the part of the Chinese contractors.
“It is imperative that an investigation on the flagged awarding of KDP to Chinese firms be conducted,” said Nograles.
Nograles, vice chair of the House Committee on Justice, said that “we have to make sure that no special treatment is being given to project contractors and all involved parties, and that every precaution is taken to vet those bidding for this crucial project,”
The P18.7-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Damn Project (NCWS-KDP)—in the pipeline since 1967—is expected to provide another water source for the growing population of Metro Manila, by providing an additional 600 million liters of water per day.
Despite controversies hounding the project, the MWSS has said the KDP is already a done deal, which the young lawmaker challenged.
According to Nograles, “only after those involved in this mess have explained how such basic procurement standards can be cast aside and steps are taken to properly bid out this project to a deserving contractor can we call this a done deal.”