WEST-ZONE CONCESSIONAIRE Maynilad Water Services, Inc. aims  to spend P227 billion between this year and 2027 to enhance water services and coverage, a company official said.

“From 2023 to 2027, we have committed P227 billion, wherein P171 billion is for capital expenditures (capex), and P56 billion is for operating expenses (opex),” Maynilad Chief Operating Officer Randolph T. Estrellado said in Filipino during a public hearing on Monday.

The commitment comes as the water supply company seeks approval for the extension of its revised concession agreement (RCA) with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

The application seeks the extension of RCA’s term from July 31, 2037 to Jan. 21, 2047, to coincide with the term of Maynilad’s legislative franchise.

Republic Act No. 11600, signed into law on Dec. 10, 2021, granted Maynilad a 25-year legislative franchise until 2047.

The company plans an investment of P874 billion from 2023 to 2047, according to Mr. Estrellado. Of the total, about P397 billion is set aside for capex, and P477 billion for opex, he said.

Maynilad aims to expand its service coverage to 95.5% by 2027 and 98.6% by 2047, providing potable water access to 1.8 million consumers.

“Why is it not 100%? It is because there are still other subdivisions that prefer to operate their own deep wells, so we could not commit that we can hit 100% by 2047,” Mr. Estrellado said.

The planned projects include the construction of new water treatment plants and wastewater facilities, rehabilitation and upgrading of pump stations, and laying of primary lines, among others.

In rate rebasing last year, Maynilad and MWSS already assumed the extension of the concession in determining the tariff required to recover expenditures.

This led to a reduced tariff adjustment of 35.61%, calculated as a one-time adjustment, in contrast to 58.56% without assuming the extension.

“The extension represents a mutually beneficial arrangement for Maynilad and our valued customers. Beyond our commitment to ensuring a sustainable water future, it underscores our dedication to making our services more affordable to our consumers,” Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez said.

“By reducing the necessary tariff increase, we’re making water services more affordable, making life better for the communities we serve,” he added.

Currently, the company is constructing the P11-billion Pob-lacion Water Treatment Plant, which is designed to produce 150 million liters per day (MLD) of potable water at full capacity.

The water treatment plant is targeted for full operations by the first half of 2024.

At present, Maynilad has two treatment plants in Barangay Putatan, Muntinlupa, that draw water from Laguna Lake and produce a combined 300 MLD of water supply for around 1.7 million customers in the south. The Poblacion Water Treatment Plant will be Maynilad’s third facility to obtain raw water from this same source.

The company serves Manila, except portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana. It also operates in Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon.

It also supplies the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in Cavite province.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera