Thanks to more facilities being built, the volume of treated wastewater in Metro Manila has increased between 2010 and 2019. The percentage of wastewater collected and treated has also increased compared to the volume of wastewater generated. According to a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on 21 October 2021, wastewater volumes in Metro Manila rose 32% between 2010 and 2019. However, the percentage of wastewater collected and treated increased from 9.7% in 2010 to 14.5% in 2019.
In a statement, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said that, “The volume of wastewater generated in Metro Manila increased from 624.46 million cubic meters in 2010 to 821.55 million cubic meters in 2019 for the east and west zones of Metro Manila, collectively. The projected waste generation increased by 19.8% from 48,070 tons per day in 2010 to 57,579 tons per day in 2019. The percentage of wastewater collected and treated relative to the amount of wastewater generated exhibited an increasing trend during the 10-year period.”
This growth can be attributed to private water concessionaires which are aiming to achieve a full sewer connection by 2037 within Metro Manila, which continue to speed up the building of more wastewater treatment plants. The following budgets and projects are underway to achieve this goal:
1. Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad), which services the west of Metro Manila: To achieve 100% sewer connection by 2037, Maynilad invested PHP 200 billion (USD 3.5 billion) for wastewater projects from 2019 until the end of the concession period in 2037. This budget would go towards the construction of 26 new Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) that have a combined treatment capacity of 1,600 MLD, the installation of some 425 km of new sewer lines that will catch the wastewater generated by around 10 million Maynilad customers, and the operation and maintenance of all wastewater facilities, among others.
2. Manila Water Company Inc. (Manila Water), which caters to the east zone of Metro Manila: Manila Water has earmarked PHP 115 billion (USD 2 billion) for its Used Water Master Plan to complete its sewerage program by 2037. Major projects under this plan are the construction of system projects covering 11 sub-catchment areas that will be implemented in II or III phases. The STPs to be built for these projects are designed to cumulatively collect and treat up to almost 950 MLD of wastewater from 7.5 million people in the East Zone by 2037. Seven projects are set to commence until 2022, translating into an investment of PHP 38.4 billion, while the rest will begin construction from 2023 onwards.
In 2019, in addition to these initiatives, the Philippine government also launched the ambitious PHP 47 billion 7-year Battle for Manila Bay initiative, with the aim to rehabilitate, restore and maintain the bay to a level that is fit for swimming.
(Sources: BusinessWorld Online; Philippine Statistics Authority)