CITY OF SAN FERNANDO A top official of the City of San Fernando Water District (CSFWD) on Friday said that there is no impending water rate increase.

CSFWD general manager Jorge Gumba said the water district won't implement water rate adjustments following an increase in electricity implemented by San Fernando Electyric Light and Power Company or SFELAPCO.

At the sidelines of the first "state of the water" symposium last Friday afternoon, March 17 at the mini-convention center of Heroes Hall here, Gumba said that a power rate hike would not "automatically" mean an increase in the price of water.

"No. It does not necessarily follow that if there is an increase in the rate charged by the power firm, ours [CSFWD] would follow. The CSFWD's rate increases are based on the financial performance and achieved targets of the water district together with our partner PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation, as embodied in our joint venture agreement which we strictly adhere to," he said.

As an example, the 15 percent price increase implemented by CSFWD more than a year ago was anchored on that 25-year joint venture agreement or JV and based on a thorough financial and performance evaluation, Gumba added.

He furthered that so far, PrimeWater has been up to the vJV parameters and has been meeting its projects and programs.

"The proposed increase then was 25 percent. But based on our evaluation, we only raised the rate by 15 percent as we considered targets and projects contained in the JV. Besides, we do not want our concessionaires to be surprised and burdened as water is an essential and basic need of everyone. CSFWD consumers would not have to worry about any increase on our end at the moment, and if there will be one, rest assured it will pass through thorough evaluation and the necessary public forum. Of course, the chief executive of the local government would be informed ahead," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the CSFWD, PrimeWater and the City Government of San Fernando, along with other groups, hosted the first ever "state of the water" symposium in relation to the forthcoming “World WaterDay” on March 22, 2023.

Discussed by resource speakers were the state of ground water quality, water resources management, sanitation, environmental management and infrastructure, plus septage treatment before delegates from the city government, national government agencies, barangays, establishments, and Pampanga-based water districts.