Metro Manila water rates to go up this month

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2019   •   277

MANILA, Philippines – Water rates in Metro Manila will increase this October following the approval of rate hikes requested by concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company.

In a statement, the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it has approved the implementation of the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA) for Manila Water and Maynilad covering fourth quarter of 2019.

Manila Water will impose an increase of P0.69 per cubic meter (cu.m.), equivalent to 2.43 percent of its average basic charge of P25.52 cu.m. This is higher than the P0.52 cu.m. increase in the third quarter of this year.

This translates to additional P0.93 per month for those consuming 10 cu.m., and additional P2.06 and P4.20 for households using 20 cu.m. and 30 cu.m., respectively.

Manila Water provides supply and services to the east zone of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, Maynilad customers will see P0.13 per cubic meter increase in their bill this month or negative 0.35 percent of its average basic charge set at P36.24 per cubic meter or negative P0.13 per cubic meter.

This means that those using 10 cubic meters each month will pay P0.09 higher in their dues, P0.34 for those consuming 20 cubic meters while P0.70 for those consuming 30 cubic meters per month.

The FCDA is a tariff mechanism used to recover or compensate for fluctuations in foreign exchange rates as water concessionaires pay foreign-dominated fees and loans to fund projects that will improve their services.

The MWSS said gains and losses can arise from the payment of concession loans and foreign currency-dominated debt whose proceeds are used to improve services.

Duterte may impose drastic actions vs Maynilad, Manila Water if water shortage worsens – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned to take up drastic actions against water concessionaires in Metro Manila if water shortage worsens, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lack of action on the part of Maynilad and Manila Water may be a factor in the measures that the president may take on the problem.

These measures, according to Panelo, may include revocation of contracts to operate, and to make water concessionaires “accountable” if they are found at fault in the situation.

“I supposed the fact that they have not undertaken corrective measures that will prevent the evolution of the incoming crisis again would be a factor that would make the president decide on drastic action against them” he told reporters.

Water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water have scheduled rotational water service disruptions starting last Oct. 24 to manage the supply from the main water supplier for Metro Manila, Angat Dam.

The water disruption lasts between four to ten hours for Manila Water consumers, and eight to 18 hours for Maynilad customers.

Water utility firms have explained it implemented rotational supply cuts to avoid a bigger problem with water supply next year.

“Kung magpapatuloy tayo na ibibigay natin yung parehong service level at hindi tayo magpapatupad ng water interruptions mas madaling bababa yung level ng Angat,” Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

Based on the monitoring of state weather bureau, as of 6 a.m. Oct. 28, the water level at Angat dam is at 185.28 meters, slightly lower than the 185.41 meters recorded on Oct. 27.

There are only five meters left before it dips to its minimum operating level of 180 meters. The dam’s water elevation has consistently declined in the past few weeks due to lack of heavy rainfall that could raise its reserves.

Manila Water has expressed support for the planned construction of Kaliwa Dam which is seen to help allocate additional 600 million liters of water per day to Metro Manila.

“Itong Kaliwa Dam is something that we welcome, in fact, hindi lamang Kaliwa dam any other source of water na pwedeng mapagkunan ng additional sources of water supply for the next years,” Sevilla said.

However, the project construction has yet to start as the government is still in the process of reviewing its plan after receiving complaints regarding its implementation.

The Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System is looking at the Wawa Calawis project and the East Bay Water Supply project to improve the water supply in Metro Manila.

The Wawa Calawis project is seen to ensure water security in the metropolis as it can deliver 80 million liters per day, while the East Bay Water Supply project may be able to supply 50 million liters per day.

But these projects may become operational by 2022.

While waiting for completion, consumers in Metro Manila are urged to conserve water to manage the current supply from Angat dam and avoid a bigger problem during dry season next year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Water-intensive facilities get enterprising amid water service interruptions

Maris Federez   •   October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The rotational water service interruptions scheduled by water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water, had started in several areas in Metro Manila, Cavite and Bulacan at dawn on Thursday (October 24).

Maynilad and Manila Water adopted the said measure following the continuing decrease of the water level in Angat Dam.

Read: Maynilad warns of possible water service interruption in coming days

Alongside the residents stocking water for their daily use, owners of water-intensive facilities, such as laundromats and car wash centers, get enterprising to go on business as usual.

Laundry shop crewmembers say water service interruptions create big impact on their business as they need to adjust their operating hours in cases when their stored water in their water tanks would not suffice.

“Halimbawa nung nakaraan ang tubig bumalik siya ng alas tres na ng hapon, so off kami sa umaga tapos mag-oopen kami alas tres na or dos na ang opening namin” Nida Dagtan, a laundryshop staff said.

She also said water service interruptions affect their salaries as daily income wagers, particularly when they have to close their shop earlier than the usual time.

A carwash shop owner, meanwhile, said they have to store water in every way and containers they can so as not to have shortage during business hours, to the extent of securing rainwater catchments.

“Nagsasahod kami sa ulan para dun sa mga lower parts ng sasakyan dun namin ginagamit para makatipid kami ng tubig,” said Regie Echano, a carwash shop owner.

He added that on average, they can service 40 vehicles a day that’s why it is imperative that they have enough stored water.

Water refilling stations, on the other hand, would store water in two large tanks to ensure that they can service their clients even with the shortage.

“Pinupuno na po namin yung tangke para kapag walang tubig, may handa kami. May pambigay sa customer,” said Welmer Estanel, a water refilling station crew.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB), however, advised the public to store water just enough to get by during the hours when the water supply is stalled.

This is so that Maynilad and Manila Water will not run low of water supply very quickly that would result in longer hours of water service interruption.

Based on Maynilad advisory, the areas they cover will experience around 8 to 18 hours of no water services; while Manila Water’s scheduled water interruption in the areas they cover will happen for four to eight hours.  (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

Angat Dam water level continues to drop

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019

The water level at Angat Dam continues to drop from 186.23 meters on Wednesday (October 23) to 185.87m as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday (October 24).

READ: NWRB to reduce water allocation for irrigation in Bulacan, Pampanga

Due to this, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) is aiming to cut water allocations. According to NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr., they want to manage the water supply in case the water level will not reach 212 meters by the end of the year.

“In order to manage iyong supply ngayon just in case na hindi ganoon ka-favorable iyong mga rainfall na darating sa Angat watershed (In order to manage the current supply in case there will be no favorable rainfall at Angat watershed),” he said.

According to PAGASA, rainfalls are still expected in Angat Dam area before the end of the year.

“Pagpasok ng November may mga dalawang bagyo tayong inaasahan diyan (By November, we are expecting two more typhoons),” weather specialist Edgar dela Cruz said.

The NWRB said they plan to conduct cloud seeding operation but that will only slightly increase the water level at Angat Dam.

Meanwhile, the NWRB will launch a campaign for responsible water consumption by November.—AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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