BAGUIO City is set to take out a 60 million dollar loan through the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the improvement of its sewerage treatment plant.
According to Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the Baguio government was earlier eyeing a much larger $100 million loan from ADB, handled through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the project.
However, the DENR encountered financial issues in the takeout of the loan, prompting the city to look to other government agencies in the handling of the loan.
The loan is intended for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the city’s sewerage treatment system to ensure that wastewater can be treated and be made potable for reusing among the local population, as well as to lessen the city’s environmental impact on the region’s waterways.
Magalong said that the treatment system is currently already operating beyond capacity, and only a minimal portion of the city’s households are connected to the system, causing uncontrolled discharge of wastewater into the city’s waterways.
As such, under the rehabilitation plan, the city’s households will be compelled to connect to the network.
Magalong added that financial experts are now attempting to calculate the appropriate fees for households that will be connected to the system, which will be used to bolster the payments for the 25-year loan.
He however assured that once the fees are computed, public consultations will be held to ensure that they are acceptable for the city’s residents.