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Mabalacat inaugurates "Project of the Century"
by Teodoro M. Reynoso

The modern P150-M central ground reservoir of the Mabalacat Water District is inaugurated with LWUA Chairman Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. (5th from left) and Mabalacat Mayor Marino P. Morales (2nd from right) leading the ceremonies. Others in photo are (l-r) MWD Board Member Fidel Tiglao, MWD Board Secretary Adelina Santos, MWD Chairman Diosdado Pangilinan, LWUA Public Affairs Department Acting Manager Edgardo Demayo, and MWD General Manager Francis Dimaliwat.

Water supply will not be a problem for the residents, industries and transients of Mabalacat, Pampanga in the next twenty-five years at least.

This was the assurance made recently by Mabalacat Water District (MWD) Board Chairman Diosdado Pangilinan and General Manager Francis Dimaliwat after the water district formally inaugurated its "project of the century" -- the newly-completed P150-million central pumping facility and ground reservoir at Bgy. Camachiles of said booming Pampanga town.

Guests of honor during the inauguration of the project last September 21, 2010 were Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Board of Trustees Chairman Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. and Mabalacat Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales who were both instrumental in the realization of the project. LWUA provided the ten percent equity while the Municipal Government gave its official endorsement of the project as it had done in previous MWD undertakings.


MWD's central reservoir showing one of its gigantic steel tanks, the biggest of its type constructed for a water district and puts MWD as "the envy of other water districts," according to LWUA Chairman Pichay. It is supported by state-of-the-art pumping facilities that ensure 24/7 water service

Pichay said that with the completion and operation of the central reservoir, the biggest of its type to be constructed for a water district, "You ( Mabalacat Water District) will be the envy of other water districts". The LWUA chairman also lauded the MWD leadership for a job well done noting that the water district has continued to find means to develop and expand its system to extend the benefits of safe, affordable drinking water to as many people as possible in line with the recent United Nations declaration of access to potable water as a basic human right.

On the other hand, Mayor Morales, a staunch supporter of the water district, took a broader view of the latest MWD and biggest project thus far. "This is a big boost to our quest for cityhood of Mabalacat," Morales declared saying he is positive that the municipality will soon be converted to a city after passing most of the requirements like population, income and land area to include the existence of basic social infrastructures and services as reliable water supply.

MWD general manager Francis Dimaliwat shows off trophies and awards received by the water district for its exceptional performance

The project was funded by LWUA and the Allied Bank under a loan agreement with the Local Government Unit Guarantee Corporation (LGUGC) wherein LWUA provided the project equity, the MWD provided a counterpart in form of the five hectare land where the project was constructed and the Allied Bank provided the bulk of the funding requirement.

The project included a central reservoir consisting of two 1,500 cubic meter capacity steel-bolted modular tanks and a central pumping facility consisting of four 175 horsepower booster pumps equipped with variable frequency drives and soft stop controls that serve as the focal collection point of pumped water coming from the 18 or so pumping wells in the Dau and Mabalacat proper areas.

MWD Chairman Deng Pangilinan said the project was called as the water district's "project of the century' since it is the biggest the MWD had undertaken in the last 32 years of its existence which will ensure the reliable supply of water for the municipality in the next at least 25 years.

MWD Board Chairman Diosdado Pangilinan describes the recent undertaking as MWD's "Project of the Century"

"The MWD central ground reservoir will address the growing needs for clean and potable drinking water in the next 25 years and extend the water services to the waterless barangays of Mabalacat and the surrounding areas. MWD Chair Pangilinan said: "Ito po ang katuparan ng pangako namin sa ating mga kababayan na mabigyan sila ng magandang serbisyo at malinis na tubig sa bawa't tahanan" (This is the realization of our vow to our townmates to give them excellent water service and clean water for every household).

Pangilinan also said that despite the major facility improvement, the MWD water rates of P147 minimum for the first ten cubic meters would be maintained. " We will not increase our present water rates because the funds that we used for the project is payable within several years, anyway."

Pangilinan said that the materials used in the project were imported from US-based supplier, Tank Connection, that include two steel-bolted tanks erected in the site with a total holding capacity of 3,000 cubic meters per day. It is equipped with four (4) 175 horsepower booster pumps coupled with variable frequency drives and soft stop control.

He said these pumps will operate in sequence depending on the demand and pressure requirement at any given time through Programmable Logic Control (PLC) and in case of power supply interruption, the system is backed up by a 625 KVA to operate the booster pumps.

The project was designed by TCGI and constructed by R D Policarpio.

Inside MWD's recently-constructed warehouse is a significant inventory of materials that ensures efficient maintenance operation

The project came at the heels of two other major projects undertaken by the MWD in the last two years, the P13-million central warehouse completed in 2008 that housed the water district's materials, tools and equipment for its operations and projects, and the rehabilitation of the Madpdap Pumping Station (PS No.8) at the Madpdap Resettlement Area with a production capacity of 2,000 cubic meters per day that was commissioned just last August 6, 2010 and seen to boost the MWD water supply and pressure in the area.

According to MWD general manager, Atty. Dimaliwat, the central pumping and reservoir project is the culmination of the efforts started two years ago when the project was launched with appropriate groundbreaking ceremony at the project site during the celebration of MWD's 30th foundation day on April 29, 2008. Mayor Morales and officials from LWUA were also present during the project launching.

Subsequent events followed including the signing of the funding agreement among the LGUGC, Allied bank and LWUA on August 8, 2008 at the Hotel Vida, Clarkfield Zone, Pampanga and the ensuing procedural bidding and awarding activities and the mobilization as well as the construction of the project itself that implemented with full expediency to meet the target completion date.

Mabalacat is a transformed town, and MWD's "Project of the Century" compliments the local government's quest for cityhood

" From its very inception, I have been very vocal about this mega project because it will address the then water supply and pressure problems that were already being experienced in the service area", Dimaliwat said.

"From now on, water consumers need not worry about water shortage during the peak hours (between 6Am to 3 PM) as the central reservoir was designed to initially augment water needs of the consumers during those peak times of water usage", Dimaliwat assured.

But more than that, the MWD system is now able and ready to meet even future demands, Dimaliwat concluded.

The MWD project of the century clearly exemplifies the foresight and the forward-looking approach to development of the water district since the present board and management assume stewardship in 2001.


(Photos by Rey Vida)

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