THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) yesterday said its request for a 12-percent increase in water rates starting in January 2015 has been approved.
One condition the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) set is that the proceeds should be used to establish water connections, said Astrophel Logarta during the 888 News Forum in Marco Polo Plaza.
Logarta, the MCWD manager for the production and distribution department, said the district has to expand its water distribution service, which covers only 40 percent of residents within its franchise area.
Once the increase will be implemented, the minimum monthly subsidized rate will increase from P136 to P152.32 for the first 10 cubic meters.
For the next 11 to 20 cubic meters, P16.80 will be charged instead of P15. The next 21-30 cubic meters consumed will be charged P19.71, instead of P17.60.
“All these increases will be used for MCWD’s expansion, especially that as a government-owned and controlled corporation, we are not receiving funds from the National Government,” Logarta said.
The MCWD franchise area covers the cities of Talisay, Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and the towns of Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion and Cordova.
“Our efforts to expand water service connections are related to the announcement of the World Health Organization that deprivation of potable water violates human rights,” Logarta said.
The existing bulk water suppliers of MCWD are Abejo Waters Corp., Mactan Rock Industries and Filipinas Water Corp.
Those with water supply contracts but have not yet started supplying bulk water to the MCWD are Cebu Manila Water Development (CMWD) and the Danao City Bulk Water Supply.
The CMWD is a consortium of Manila Water of the Ayala Group of Companies and the Cebu Provincial Government, which will source water from Carmen, Cebu.
The Danao City Bulk Water, which has a contract to supply MCWD with 20,000 cubic meters of water daily, was introduced by Mayor Ramon Durano III in 2010.
“Danao City wants to develop Tangon River upstream so that the excess bulk water can be supplied to MCWD and the profits will be used as subsidies for constituents,” Logarta said.
At present, Danao City Government is still selling water to its residents at P5 per cubic meter.
“We expect Cebu Manila Water to deliver 18,000 cubic meters of water per day for the first year starting this month and 35,000 cubic meters in the second year,” Logarta said.
At least 80 percent of the MCWD consumers come from poor families that pay P13.60 per cubic meter. Without the subsidy, they would have to pay P23 per cubic meter.