Manila Water targets P181 billion for capital expenditure in next five years

PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

MANILA Water Co., Inc. is targeting to spend P181 billion for capital investments in the next five years for water and wastewater projects, a company official said.

Nestor Jeric T. Sevilla, Jr., Manila Water’s corporate strategic affairs group head, said in a Viber message to BusinessWorld that of the target spending, P105 billion is set aside for water and wastewater projects while P76 billion is allotted for operating expenditures.

During a public consultation on rate rebasing on Tuesday, Jose Victor Emmanuel A. De Dios, president and chief executive officer of Manila Water, said that Metro Manila’s east zone water concessionaire is looking to develop infrastructures as alternative water sources.

“Our explanation here is that the graph of demand is changing, we’re focusing [on] the next years. So far we’re talking about water sourcing so as a concessionaire, we’re planning about it,” Mr. De Dios said.

The fifth rate-rebasing public consultation drive was scheduled by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Regulatory Office.

To augment its needed P181 billion for operations in the coming years, Manila Water has proposed a rate increase staggered over the next five years.

Mr. Sevilla said Manila Water proposed an increase of P8.04 per cubic meter in 2023; P5:00 in 2024; P3.25 in 2025; P3.00 in 2026; and P1.08 in 2027.

If approved, Manila Water said the rate increase will result in an additional P41.20 per month to P192.43 from P151.23 for households that consume 10 cubic meters per month.

However, households with regular consumption of 20 cubic meter of water per month will see their monthly bills increase by P91.59 to P425.06 from P333.47.

For households that consume 30 cubic meter of water per month, the water bill will increase by P187.10 to P866.12 from P679.02.

Mr. Sevilla said Manila Water’s service improvement plan is anchored on four pillars of sustainability, namely: water security, service accessibility, service continuity, and environmental sustainability or wastewater projects.

Meanwhile, Mr. De Dios reiterated that Manila Water did not implement any rate adjustment in 2020 until 2022.

MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick N. Ty said the proposal is still subject to approval and evaluation.

Rate rebasing is conducted every five years, pursuant to the concession agreement of the MWSS with water concessionaires. It is accompanied by a performance review and validation of the water concessionaires’ projected cash flows.

Rate rebasing sets the water rates in a manner that allows the water suppliers to recover their expenditures.

Next week, MWSS will conduct another rate rebasing public consultation drive for Maynilad Water Services, Inc. — Ashley Erika O. Jose