Ilonggo solons support MIWD privatization

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


REPRESENTATIVE Jerry P. Treñas of Iloilo City’s lone district is enthusiastic that several Ilonggo congressmen are supporting his resolution strongly urging the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) to initiate the process of privatization of the local water district.

Treñas said his House Resolution No. 1363 was anchored in a 2010 Castalia Report funded by the World Bank entitled “Assistance to Metro Iloilo Water District in exploring option for the provision of water supply and sanitation services.”

MIWD is providing low value of money for water service relative to other cities of similar size in the Philippines, and that only 20 percent of households have direct connections to the MIWD pipes receiving intermittent water supply at low pressure.

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Similarly, residents and businesses within the MIWD service area have expressed their frustration and anger over the inability of MIWD to provide water in their taps.

APPEND partylist congressman Pablo Nava III had expressed his full support to the Treñas resolution by saying the MIWD covered areas deserved efficient and sufficient water service more than what is being by MIWD now.

Other Iloilo congressmen are set to support the Treñas resolution within this week, especially those whose constituents are affected by poor water service of the local water district.

Treñas said the House committee on good government and public accountability conducted a public hearing in Iloilo City last March 6, 2013, wherein it was revealed the water district has suffered severe financial losses and significant deficit in cash flow.

It was also known that MIWD cannot pay its huge outstanding obligations to its bulk water suppliers. Furthermore, more than 38 percent of MIWD water is reported as non-revenue water due to several leaks and destroyed pipes.

A study conducted by the United States Agency for International Development showed P887 million spent by MIWD from 1987 to 2008 to improve its facilities, construct pipelines and rehabilitate the wells was insufficient as this level of investment was not enough to improve services to a satisfactory level.

The USAID report showed that engaging the private sector could be one of the possible solutions to the problems of MIWD as countries turned to various forms of public-private partnerships to achieve water service.

The privatization of the Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System in 1995 showed that the government engaged in PPP agreements with Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company Inc.

The situation in Metro Manila then and Metro Iloilo now is analogous with Metro Iloilo facing a dire water crisis given its rapid growth in terms of population and commercial activities.

Treñas said the plan is not sole privatization but a module similar to the Metro Manila water supply system, which private corporations bid out to distribute water to the different parts of Manila and provide safe water supply.

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