Baciwa: No indiscriminate water rate hike under joint venture

"THERE will be no irresponsible or indiscriminate increase in water rates."

This was assured Thursday, August 6, 2020, by Engineer Jenelyn Yap-Gemora, assistant general manager for operations of the Bacolod City Water District (Baciwa), amid allegations that water rates will significantly increase now that the water district has signed a partnership deal with Prime Water.

"Increase in water rates can only be made by the joint venture upon the review of Baciwa, and the approval of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and after the required public hearings," Gemora said.

"Any water rate increase is, therefore, regulated by LWUA and not at the discretion of the joint venture partnership. Actually, the tariff needs to be increased with or without the Public-Private Partnership (PPP)," she added.

Gemora said that based on the proposed tariff adjustment in the 25 years of Prime Water, there are only three instances that they will ask LWUA for an increase. In November 2022, November 2025, and November 2030.

"Granting it will be approved, the cost of water per drum is very minimal. Existing per drum rate as of now is only P4.16. By November 2030, if approved, the water rate per drum is only P7.78 until 2044, inclusive of VAT," Gemora said.


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