THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is still waiting for the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to approve its applications to raise the water tariff.
In the first quarter of 2023, the MCWD applied for a 60 percent hike, which it had planned to implement last July 1 yet. It also applied to raise the water rate by another 10 percent in 2024.
MCWD information officer Minerva Gerodias told SunStar Cebu on Monday, Oct. 2, that the LWUA informed them in August to submit additional requirements, such as the schedule of their expansion projects, and more details of their cash flow for year 2018-2022.
Gerodias said they already complied with all the requirements in September.
When applying for a rate increase, the water utility needs to submit the background of the water district, information on previous tariff increase, schedule of existing and proposed water rates per customer classification and usage, summary of justifications to proposed water rate increase, summary of assumptions used for each projected year, and historical ratio analysis, among others.
Gerodias said the MCWD needs to raise the water rate to cover the expenses of its ongoing and upcoming projects, which will enhance the water district’s services.
MCWD, which is a self-liquidating water utility, last adjusted its water rate on Jan. 1, 2015.
For the past eight years, the MCWD has been absorbing the cost of increasing operational expenses and the cost of the water it purchases, which ranges from P25 to P65 per cubic meter, she said.
“This means MCWD will continue to absorb the high cost of water until we are able to implement the water rate adjustment,” said Gerodias.
Gerodias, in previous interviews, said that from 2015 to the present, MCWD has spent P2.1 billion on expansion and rehabilitation projects to improve service, as well as P12 billion on operational expenses.
MCWD chairman of the board Jose Daluz III, in a chat message on Monday, said the water district can expect a further increase in the rate of water it purchases, especially if the water comes from a desalination plant, one of which is expected to be operational in December.
Currently, the MCWD charges P15.20 per cubic meter for the first 10 cubic meters in a month for residential consumers, with a minimum charge of P152. If LWUA grants its request, the minimum charge will be P243.
The MCWD was supposed to implement a rate hike in 2020 as water districts are allowed to apply for a rate adjustment every five years, but opted not to due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
MCWD claims to offer the cheapest water rates in the entire country.
MCWD supplies water to the cities of Cebu, Talisay, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, as well as to the towns of Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan and Compostela.