MANILA Water Co., Inc. said on Thursday that extending its revised concession agreement will support the government in funding the estimated capital expenditures (capex) of approximately P721 billion.

“We will take away from the government the responsibility of spending about P721 billion as of today’s estimate because we will endeavor to spend that during that period,” Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Victor Emmanuel A. de Dios said during a public hearing.

Manila Water is seeking the approval of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS) for the extension of the expiration date of its revised concession agreement from 2037 to 2047, to coincide with its 25-year legislative franchise.

Republic Act No. 11601, which took effect on Jan. 25, 2022, granted Manila Water a legislative franchise for 25 years, extending until 2047.

Mr. de Dios said the reason for seeking the extension “is simply to ensure that we are able to continue providing water security, improve the water service that we deliver, and ensure affordability to our customers.”

He said that part of the P721-capex is the P198-billion expiration payments that the MWSS is compelled to pay at the termination of the concession.

In its position paper submitted to the MWSS in August, Manila Water said it is committed to investing P1.15 trillion for water security, service delivery, and environmental sustainability up to 2047.

Mr. de Dios said that Manila Water is targeting its domestic connections to reach about 1.24 million by 2036 and 1.33 by 2046 based on assumptions on growth and urban migration.

At the local bourse on Thursday, shares of Manila Water went up by 18 centavos or 1.05% to close at P17.30 apiece.

The water concessionaire serves the east zone network of Metro Manila, covering parts of Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, San Juan, portions of Quezon City and Manila, and several towns in Rizal province. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera