After months of complying with some requirements related to the proposed comprehensive Septage Management Program for Metro Cebu, a signing ceremony was held last Jan. 11, 2019 to signal another milestone.
The signing ceremony for the Minutes of the Discussions related to the preparatory survey for the Septage Management Project for Metro Cebu Water District’s service area was led by Hiromichi Murakami, Senior Deputy Director General of the Global Environmental Department of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) General Manager Jose Eugenio Singson Jr.
The two main signatories were joined by very important witnesses—Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III, who is also the chairperson of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, and Norihiko Nomura, the director general of the Environmental Planning Bureau of the City of Yokohama, Japan—at the Dignitaries Hall of the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
Yokohama City provided technical advice for the study and continuing technical support based on the Metro Cebu-Yokohama City Environmental Cooperation Agreement.
“The approval of this project is not only a victory for the environment but a legacy that every Cebuano—now and in the future—will be thankful for,” Davide said.
The project involves the Septage Treatment Facility at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City, which MCWD will operate to serve customers in the cities of Cebu, Talisay and Mandaue and the municipalities of Consolacion, Liloan and Compostela, said GM Singson.
“We have concluded the conceptual plan of the project for septage management in Metro Cebu Water District. It is expected that the project will proceed successfully to contribute improvement for the sanitation and environment sector in Cebu province,” Mr. Murakami of JICA said.
Work on meeting the requirements, including the signing of agreements with the mayors of the said local governments, and securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate will continue after the signing ceremony.
“There is still so much to be done but MCWD will not stop until this facility will be operating and our customers will see the world of difference in having their sludge properly treated before disposing it to the river,” Singson added.
The construction of the plant is expected to start in April this year until September 2020.
Once completed, a test run will be conducted before a turnover of the facility will be held after three months, according to the JICA timeline.
The project is targeted to serve households by 2021. It can process at least 400 cubic meters of sludge per day.
Aside from ensuring public health, a comprehensive Septage Management Program in Metro Cebu is aimed at protecting groundwater sources from contamination caused by overflowing, poorly-constructed or the absence of septic tanks and proper treatment in a plant.
Also present during the signing are Katsumi Fuji, consultant of Yachio Engineering and Evelyn Nacario-Castro of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.