THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has clarified that it has not yet implemented the water rate adjustments for commercial and industrial consumers.
On Nov. 18, 2023, it announced that it would double the rate for commercial customers and triple the rate for industrial consumers starting Dec. 1.
But it in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, MCWD said the plan did not materialize as it is still waiting for the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to approve the increase.
It said that it asked for an interim approval for a water rate adjustment, specifically limited to the first 30 cubic meters of consumption for commercial, industrial, bulk and wholesale consumers, but LWUA has not acted on the request.
The rate adjustment excludes residential and government consumers, as well as water consumption beyond 30 cubic meters.
This means that beyond 30 cubic meters for all consumer types, MCWD will continue to charge the current tariff of P48.40 per cubic meter.
MCWD initially intended to adjust water rates for commercial and industrial connections, according to the prescribed rates in the LWUA manual.
The base rates will be the tariff approved in 2015, which the MCWD has been implementing up to the present.
“For the past two decades, LWUA has allowed MCWD to implement a tariff structure that deviates from what is prescribed in the manual, making the rates unique among all other water districts,” MCWD said in a statement.
“After thorough discussions with the management and LWUA regarding the implementation of water rates based on the water rates manual, it was agreed that MCWD will instead seek interim approval for the adjustment, consistent with the water rates adjustment application currently lodged at LWUA,” it added.
MCWD said the implementation will provide reprieve to its current financial strain, considering that the government-owned and –controlled corporation’s 2023 Approved Operating Budget already incorporated the new water rates that were projected to take effect on July 1, 2023.
“It will serve as a stop-gap measure while MCWD’s application for water tariff adjustment is still in progress with LWUA,” the MCWD said.
In the same statement, MCWD echoed the call of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Charles Kenneth Co for several sectors to implement water-saving and recycling measures.
Co earlier urged businesses, commercial and industrial establishments in Metro Cebu to implement water-saving and recycling measures to mitigate the impact of the water rate hike once it is imposed.
“After all, saving water is everybody’s responsibility, especially considering that the country will be facing the El Niño phenomenon this year and that water is also becoming a scarce resource,” said MCWD. (with PR)