On Monday June 3, the official part of the week started with a visit to the PEWUP project - Performance Enhancement Water Utilities Philippines. The guests were welcomed in the PEWUP Project Office on the 3rd floor of the Carcar Water District building by the PEWUP team and the General Managers of the 4 Water Districts who participate in the Project: Bayawan Water District, Bogo Water District, Carcar Water District and Toledo City Water District.
The morning was dedicated to inform the visitors about the progress of the project in general and the pro-poor projects. The General Manager of Bayawan Water District presented the current challenges of the Philippine water sector and Jelle Hannema presented how the challenges of the Dutch water sector have been solved. There were interesting discussions about the biggest challenge of all for the Philippines, and that is how to solve the threats that are being experienced due to climate change and to the increasing population and water demand. All agreed that solutions need to be found on a higher level than the municipal level. The format of the project, with water districts scattered over the islands of Cebu and Negros, plus the involvement of the Philippine Association of Water Districts appears to be a good starting point for future actions.
The lunch, hosted by Carcar Water District, was held at the Watershed area of Carcar. The Board of Directors of Carcar WD was invited and the guests could have their first taste of the Filipino hospitality, including the specialities Lechon and Chicharon. During the afternoon all guests visited the Mainit spring, the most important water source of Carcar.
The second place to visit was the newly opened Tagdog water treatment plant, where Mr. Edward Remo (general manager of Carcar Water District) explained the treatment of the spring water, which is very turbid during the rainy season.
After the site visits, all guests travelled to Cebu for the dinner at Circa 1900 restaurant. For this dinner also the Board of Directors of Metro Cebu Water District was invited.
The first day of the visit was quite intensive. We can look back on a successful visit, where the shareholders and CEO of VEI got a good impression of the project and challenges. On the other hand the visit was also very much appreciated by the project partners, as it proves the commitment of all to make PEWUP a big success and to work towards providing water for all on Cebu and Negros islands.