Save, recycle water to mitigate rate increase

Save, recycle water to mitigate rate increase
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BUSINESSES, commercial and industrial establishments in Metro Cebu are urged to implement water saving and recycling measures to mitigate the impact of the rate hike.

The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) imposed a water rate hike of between 100 percent and 200 percent on Dec. 1, 2023.

“It’s a big increase. I would encourage business to implement water saving and recycling programs to minimize the impact of the increase,” Charles Kenneth Co, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president, said in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

He also urged the local water district to address the water loss problem to keep the water rate low.

Co said he hopes the Cebu City Government and the MCWD will collaborate to construct a dam to maximize the potential of surface water, “which costs lower than desalination.”

Last Nov. 18, Jose Daluz III, chairman of MCWD’s board of directors (BOD), announced the rate hike, adding that they spared residential customers, which make up 85 percent of their consumers.

MCWD now charges its commercial customers P30.40 for the first 10 cubic meters of water and industrial customers P45.60 per cubic meter.

Before the increase, the water district’s commercial, industrial and residential consumers were charged a uniform rate of P15.20 per cubic meter for the first cubic meters of water consumed.

From 11 to 20 cubic meters, the rate was P16.80 per cubic meter. For 21 to 30 cubic meters, the rate was P19.80 per cubic meter. Beyond 30 cubic meters, the rate was P48.40 per cubic meter.

In an interview on Patigayon Sugbo over the Sugboanon Channel, the official media platform of the Cebu City Government, last Friday, Jan. 5, Co said hoteliers were among the most affected establishments by the new water rate.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach the Hotel Resort & Restaurant Association of Cebu Inc. for comment, but to no avail.

The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has yet to conduct a survey on how many of its members have been affected by the new rate.

Mandaue City is home to about 10,000 industrial and commercial locators, according to its website.

Co said the rate hike presented a new opportunity for the business sector to invest in securing its own source of water and water filtration system.

“Instead of throwing away wastewater, you invest in recycling it. So, you don’t consume so much new water, so that you recycle the water that you have,” he said on Friday.

He said they already sent to MCWD the chamber’s position paper with regard to the rate hike, asking for an explanation.

Co said the development may affect potential investors.

On Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan announced that it is anticipating the start of the dry condition in Cebu from February onwards, as the threat of the El Niño phenomenon continues to loom.

Alfredo Quiblat, chief of Pagasa Mactan, warned on Sunday, Jan. 7, that the region might experience insufficient rainwater due to El Niño, leading to intense drought in May.


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