ADB commits $123.3 million to improve Manila's water supply

MANILA (Reuters) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Monday it would lend $123.3 million to the Philippines to modernize water supply in the capital, Manila, to reduce the risk of shortages as demand for water rises in the megacity.

The loan will allow the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, a government-owned company supplying raw water to Manila to build a fourth tunnel, allowing it to upgrade other existing tunnels, the Manila-based lender said in a statement.

“The Angat transmission system provides more than 95 percent of Manila’s water but its existing tunnels are up to 75 years old and in poor condition, leaving the metropolitan area highly vulnerable to serious supply disruptions,” said Paul van Klaveren, senior urban development specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

The capital is served by two private companies holding distribution concessions -- Manila Water Co Inc and Maynila Water Services Inc owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp, DMCI Holdings Inc and Marubeni Corp.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Kim Coghill