DCWD’s 20% water rate hike raises concerns

DCWDContributed photo

AN OFFICIAL from the Davao City Water District (DCWD) announced the implementation of the second tranche of their water rate adjustment during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday morning, February 12, 2024, at The Annex of SM City Davao.

JC Duhaylungsod, DCWD spokesperson, said that the 20 percent increase, part of the approved 60 percent adjustment from 2021, would be effective in the February consumption cycle but reflected in the March billing. 

The decision to phase the adjustment was made considering the financial challenges faced by the community amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Wala po tayong na implement na water rate adjustment last year, just to be clear, instead yung 20 percent na supposed to be last year ngayon pa po namin siya i-implement (We did not implement any water rate adjustment last year, and the delayed 20 percent tranche from 2023 would now be implemented this year)," she clarified.

DCWD initially rolled out the first tranche of 30 percent in August 2022, with the expected second tranche in 2023 and the third and final tranche of 10 percent in 2024. 

However, due to approval delays, both the second and third tranches were not implemented as scheduled.

Duhaylungsod expressed that they are happy that the 20 percent water rate adjustment was approved because when it was not, several projects were postponed. With its approval, they can now proceed with the shelved projects which are for their service improvement in Davao City. 

DCWD is pleased with the approval as it enables them to resume postponed projects aimed at improving their services in Davao City. 

The water rate adjustment will contribute to financing a ten-year development plan focusing on operational improvements and expanding services to more areas.

The adjustments aim to support infrastructure development for existing sources and create additional water supply systems to accommodate the growing residential, commercial, and industrial areas in the future. 

DCWD is optimistic about the implementation of the last tranche later this year, pending approval.

Stephanie Agcambot, a Mintal resident, expressed her concerns to SunStar Davao via text, stating her worry not only for her family but also for those earning less, as the water prices are already high. 

She believes that an additional 20 percent would pose a burden on many people.

Likewise, Enah Fleur Mamac, a renter from Matina, finds the 20 percent increase too substantial. She also highlighted occasional interruptions in the water service provided by DCWD in their area.

“Dako kaayo ang 20 percent, unya kay halos walay agas baya sa amo every morning, igo ra mubalik ang tubig inig udto. Tho around 250 ra gud among bill since nag rent ra mi pero dako gihapon iyang effect inig madugang na tung 20% (The 20 percent adjustment is huge, and we barely have water flow in our area every morning; it only returns by noon. Though our water bill is only P250 since we're renting, its impact will still be substantial with the addition of 20 percent),” she said.

Lourhenz Igloria, a resident of Talomo Proper, expressed her disappointment with the increase, especially as a minimum wage earner. However, she acknowledged that DCWD may have reasons for the adjustment.

“Kung atong huna hunaon, dako kaayo ang baynte porsyento pero kabalo ko naa ni silay hinungdan ngano kini nila gitaasan pero hinaot nako puhon mubaba kini (Thinking about it, the 20 percent is increase is big, but I understand they may have reasons for raising it. I hope it will decrease soon),” she said. RGP

Related stories:

DCWD targets to implement 20% water hike within 2023
Water service breaks anticipated amid fully operational DCBWSP
DCWD official: Water supply level in franchise area at ‘threshold’
DCWD implements 30% water rate hike starting August


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