Why Public Companies Want To Be Clear And Accountable In Philippines: Case Of Wawa Dam Undertaking – Evaluation

This brief piece articulates the importance of transparency and accountability (T&A) within the supply of public service, on this case, water.  In opposition to the backdrop of the nation’s inhabitants progress, tempo of urbanization, diploma of air pollution, and disquiets on local weather change, peoples’ entry to scrub and secure consuming water, the supply of presidency’s water assets, and society’s regular provide of unpolluted water for industrial and agricultural functions are extraordinarily difficult.

The demand for potable sources of water over and above for flood management, storage, and hydroelectric energy technology has grown over time particularly in Metro Manila, house of almost 15 million folks and one of the vital densely populated metropolitan cities on the planet.  The water disaster in the metropolis is the continuing disaster that affected many of the households with a water interruption. The disaster just isn’t new. In reality, the water disaster within the early Nineteen Nineties turned the justification for the privatization of the water sector. 

The Nationwide Water Disaster Act in 1995 (Republic Act 8041) laid down the authorized basis for the privatization of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), a government-owned company engaged in water provide, therapy, and distribution serving Metro Manila and in command of water privatization pursuant to its Water Safety Plan (WSP) for 2018-2023. At current, 90% of the Metro Manila’s consuming water comes from the 56-year-old Angat Dam which might provide about 4,000 million litres per day (MLD) or 98 % of the potable water in Metro Manila via the MWSS.

RA 8041 gave then-President Fidel Ramos emergency powers, for a interval of 1 yr, to handle the projected 75% enhance in nationwide demand for water. Addressing this subject requires the development of a number of water infrastructure tasks. This consists of the development of recent dams and reservoirs to offer further sources of water, the modernization of the nation’s water distribution system, and the advance of water high quality. 


In a comparative examine performed between two flagship infrastructure tasks of the nation – the New Centennial Water Supply- Kaliwa Dam Undertaking (NCWS-KDP) and Wawa Bulk Water Provide Undertaking-Higher Wawa Dam (WBWSP-UWD), in any other case often known as the Kaliwa Dam Undertaking (KDP) and Higher Wawa Dam (UWD) respectively – to find out the extent and depth of their transparency and accountability, the next analysis devices have been used: the Building Sector Transparency Initiative Infrastructure Knowledge Commonplace (CoST IDS); processes of public session; social and environmental requirements; and disclosure of contracts and agreements.

The CoST IDS, an analytical framework that determines the openness or restrictiveness of presidency or mission house owners in disclosing info and info on knowledge factors or “objects” of concern throughout the important thing levels of the infrastructure mission cycle revealed that the UWD mission is extra clear and accountable than KDP with 179 complete scores in 39 CoST IDS objects in contrast with the latter having 104. On common, the UWD mission chronicled almost 5 (5) whereas KDP recorded almost three (3) with six (6) as the very best rating per merchandise and 0 (0) because the lowest (see desk under).

Undertaking CoST Info by Phases and Scores

Undertaking part NCWS-KDP WBWSP-UWD
Complete Common* Complete Common*
Undertaking Identification 26 4.33 36 6
Undertaking preparation 34 4.8 39 5.6
Undertaking completion 19 3.2 32 5.3
Contract part 0 0 6 6
Procurement 25 2.0 65 5
Implementation 0 0 0 0
Complete/Common 104 2.67 178 4.56
* Based mostly on the variety of mission info/knowledge objects. 

With regard to public session, significant session on the impression of any proposed mission with the affected communities and different stakeholders is a crucial part of transparency. In as a lot as the placement of each tasks are inhabited by the indigenous peoples (Dumagat/Remontado), it’s important that folks whose livelihood, tradition, and ways-of-life could be disturbed by the mission needs to be consulted not solely to adjust to the provisions of the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and the UN Declaration on the Proper of Indigenous Peoples on the indigenous peoples’ proper to Free, Prior, and Knowledgeable Consent (FPIC) but additionally to make the mission profitable.

The examine attests that each tasks had complied with the FPIC requirement with regard to the indigenous peoples (IPs) (Dumagat and Remontados). The NCWS-KDP had been accorded with FPIC by the Nationwide Fee on Indigenous Folks (NCIP) as supplied by the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or Republic Act 8371 in November 2022 however the protest of  Dumagat-Remontados IPs who marched to Malacañang Palace to oppose the development of the Kaliwa Dam. The indigenous neighborhood sought a dialogue with President Marcos Jr. and demanded a halt to the development of the mission. Nonetheless, the try was unsuccessful.

On the a part of the WBWSP-UWD, its FPIC was awarded in July 2020 and March 2022 for its part 1 and a couple of respectively. The Memorandum of Settlement (MOA) cast between Wawa JVCo Inc. and Dumagat/Remontados in each phases was witnessed by representatives of the NCIP.

Corollary to public session, the conduct of a complete social and environmental impression evaluation is a crucial facet in appraising transparency of dam and big-ticket infrastructure tasks.  The WawaJV Co. Inc. has been issued with the Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC) in July 2020 by the DENR-EMB (Environmental Administration Bureau).  Within the case of the KDP, its ECC from DENR-EMB was afforded to its mission proprietor, MWSS, on 11 October 2019. It’s to be famous nonetheless that within the Fee on Audit (COA) 2020 audit report, the MWSS (mission proprietor of NCWS-KDP) proceeded with the implementation of the P12.2-billion Kaliwa Dam mission in Infanta, Quezon “with out proof of compliance with environmental stipulations and submission of needed permits.

It’s central to transparency that contracts, agreements, and bidding processes are disclosed to make sure that choice of contractors, allocation of funds, and the general mission administration are forthright. Transparency strengthens democracy and promotes accountability. On contracts and agreements, the UWD stays extra clear, garnering the very best rating of six (6) in its CoST IDS’s contract part whereas KDP recorded zero (see desk above). The previous as properly is assessed to have maintained a extra complete web site that retains the general public up to date on the event of the dam’s building aside from the common information releases it posts in comparison with the latter. 


The comparative examine of the Kaliwa and Wawa dam tasks highlights the necessity to advance the reason for transparency and accountability. Whereas each “big-ticket” infrastructure tasks have lofty objectives of addressing the nation’s water shortage points and offering a dependable water provide to satisfy the rising calls for of Metro Manila’s inhabitants and close by provinces, therefore contributing to water safety and guaranteeing entry to scrub water for home, agricultural, and industrial functions, the achievement of the goals is contingent basically on the diploma of transparency with which the mission is being administered, safeguarding the processes of administration from systemic corruption.

Insofar because the examine just isn’t a examine on corruption, it clearly exhibits that the mission which is extra clear (Wawa dam mission), regardless of a few of its limitations, was capable of ship its providers far forward of the Kaliwa dam mission. Apparently, WawaJVCo. Inc. has been comparatively profitable in balancing water provide necessities with environmental and social issues. 

It may very well be argued {that a} comparatively clear group heightens its legitimacy and worth for cash because it fosters economical, environment friendly and efficient use of assets and provision of providers and promotes fairness within the allocation and use of assets in its operations. Transparency, which focuses on readability and openness of the tradition, drives conduct and will increase duty within the administration of assets.

A coverage paper printed by the World Financial institution highlights that “transparency is necessary not solely as a result of it will increase the effectivity within the allocation of assets, but additionally as a result of it might assist in guaranteeing that the advantages of progress are redistributed and never captured by the elite.” (2)


  1.  The Nationwide Fee on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is the company of the nationwide authorities of the Philippines that’s accountable for defending the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.
  2.  Kaufmann, D. and Bellver, A. (2005) Transparenting Transparency: Intial Empirics and Coverage Functions. On-line at http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/8188/ MPRA Paper No. 8188.