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Water rates going up
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Water rates going up

MANILA, Philippines, September 14 ------ Customers of west zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. should brace for another increase in water rates after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) approved an upward adjustment for both its rate rebasing and foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA). The MWSS Board of Trustees yesterday approved the recommendation of the MWSS-Regulatory Office on Maynilad’s petition for an increase of 11 centavos per cubic meter for the FCDA and another 90 centavos per cu.m. for the rate rebasing or P1.01 per cu.m. starting Oct. 1.

The 11 centavos increase is part of the fourth quarter FCDA, which is the tariff mechanism granted to utility companies to allow them to recover losses or give back gains arising from the fluctuating movements of the peso against other currencies as the concessionaires pay foreign-dominated fees as well as loans to fund projects that will improve service to their customers. The 90-centavo increase, on the other hand, is a portion of the total P5.73 per cu.m. increase to be staggered over the next four years as part of the mandatory five-year rate rebasing for the concessionaires. Based on the concession agreement, a rate rebasing determines the level of rates for water and sewerage services that permits both concessionaires to recover over the life of the concession period their operating, capital maintenance and investment expenditures.

The rate increase means that Maynilad residential customers consuming an average of 10 cu.m. or less every month will see their bill increase by 35 centavos and P2.40 or a total of P2.75. Those consuming 20 to 30 cu.m. would have a P1.31 and P6.53 increase in their water bills, or a total of P7.84 per month. Those using more than 30 cu.m. would experience an increase of P2.68 and P13.68 per month, for a total of P16.36 on a monthly basis.

For east zone concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc., MWSS-RO chief regulator Patrick Ty said only the downward FCDA has been approved for the water company starting October. “We will be submitting their petition for the rate rebasing on Sept. 27. There are still discussions on the medium-term water solution. If approved, we can implement their increase by Oct. 16, the earliest,” Ty told The STAR.

In the meantime, Manila Water’s downward adjustment is at 20 centavos per cu.m of its basic charge. The rollback for Manila Water means that those who consume up to 10 cu.m. per month will have a reduction of 12 centavos while those consuming an average of 20 cu.m. would have a downward adjustment of 27 centavos. Customers using 30 cu.m. would be affected by a downward adjustment of as much as 55 centavos per month. However, Manila Water consumers should still expect an increase as the indicative rate on the rate rebasing has been set at P6.26 to P6.55 per cu.m.

Once approved, Manila Water customers will see a P1.50 per cu.m increase starting mid-October, another P2 each for 2020 and 2021 and another 76 centavos to P1.05 per cu.m by 2022. This would translate to an increase of P6.02 per month for those consuming below 10 cu.m; P9.68 for those 10 to 20 cu.m; and up to P20.30 for 20 cu.m above. Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the country in terms of customer base. It serves the areas of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, Malabon and certain portions of Manila, Quezon City, Makati and Cavite. Manila Water, on the other hand, caters to the East Zone encompassing parts of Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, most parts of Quezon City, portions of Manila, as well as several towns in Rizal.

Source: philstar.com