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Singapore open to sharing desalination technology with PH – Gatchalian

/ 03:25 PM October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Singapore is open to sharing its desalination technology with the Philippines, Sherwin Gatchalian said Tuesday amid the looming water crisis in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

“I just came back also from Singapore. I  had a very good opportunity to talk to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at isa sa mga suporta na gusto nilang ibigay sa atin ay yung technology nila sa desalinaton. Ito yung mga nire-recycle nila yung tubig galing sa gamit nang tubig,” Gatchalian told reporters at the Senate.

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(I just came back also from Singapore. I had a very good opportunity to talk to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and one of the support packages they want to extend to us is their desalination technology which they use to recycle used water).

The senator participated in the Lee Kuan Yew exchange fellowship more than a week ago.

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“For example, yung tubig na lumalabas sa mga drainage natin, sinasala nila, pinapalinis nila at ginagamit nila ngayon. Medyo kakaiba. Para sa atin parang medyo kadiri pero sa Singaore they’ve been using this system for the last I think almost seven to eight years already,” he went on.

(For example, the water coming out of drainages, they filter it, clean it, and use it. It’s a little bit strange. For us, it may seem a little bit disgusting but in Singapore, they’ve been using this system for the last I think almost seven to eight years already).

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, said that operating desalination machines would be a simpler and less expensive approach for the government.

However, he said it would still be subject to comparative analysis studies.

“Ano bang mas mahal? Gumamit ng technology or gumawa ng dam? Pag gumawa tayo ng dam, maraming IP (indigenous people) ang madi-displace, gagawa pa tayo ng tunnel para i-tunnel ang tubig. So, ito yung cost and benefit analysis na dapat nating pagaralan” he said.

(What’s more expensive? To use technology or to build a dam. If we build a dam, many IPs will be displaced. We have to build a tunnel. So, this is the cost-benefit analysis that should be studied).

The senator was referring to the construction of the P18.7 billion China-funded Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon and Rizal provinces. The Kaliwa Dam is touted to be the solution to the water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

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But environmentalists, indigenous groups and local governments have opposed its construction.

“Ngayon that I’ve been to Singapore, I’ve talked to Prime Minister Lee, mas favor ako sa technology, kasi ang technology itatayo mo lang dito eh…less disruption, less right of way problems, ipapatayo lang natin,” he said.

(Now that I’ve been to Singapore, I’ve talked to Prime Minsiter Lee, I’m in favor of using technology because with technology, you can just put it in place…less disruption, less right of way problems).

The senator further pointed out that the water problem could be attributed to the lack of water sources.

“The problem is not in distribution, the problem is in the source…Ang source natin isa lang, La Mesa. So, you solve the source, you solve the distribution so ang missing link natin yung source. So we need to find a solution for the source,” he said.

(The problem is not in distribution, the problem is in the source…Our only source is the La Mase Dam. So, you solve the source, you solve the distribution so the missing link if the source. So, we need to find a solution for the source).

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte himself sought the advice from Singapore and Israel on sound water management after a water shortage hit part of Metro Manila and nearby provinces last March.

READ: Duterte seeks help from Singapore, Israel on Metro Manila water woes

TOPICS: desalination, nation, Philippines, Singapore, Water
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