WATER RATES in Metro Manila are the lowest compared to other metropolitan cities in the Philippines and among the lowest compared with other cities in the Asia-Pacific region, figures mostly culled from a state agency show.

Metro Manila consumers using 10 cubic meters (cu.m.) of water per month enjoy the lowest rate of P104, the lowest among 12 metropolitan cities in the Philippines. Those in Baguio City pay the highest rate at P370.

San Jose Del Monte pay the second-highest rate at P280 a month. Cities with higher rates than Metro Manila are Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Batangas, Cabanatuan, Angeles, Dasmariñas, Metro Iloilo, Metro Cebu, and Davao.

The comparative figures were from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), a government-owned and controlled corporation with lending functions mandated law. Metro Manila’s water rates include 12% value-added tax (VAT) and environmental charges.

For consumers using 20 cu.m. per month, Davao City imposes the lowest rate at P281, with Metro Manila having the second-lowest at P306. In this consumer group, Baguio City again topped the list with the most expensive rate at P775.

Compared to select Asia-Pacific cities consuming 15 cu.m., Metro Manila’s P18.28 per cu.m. is below midway between the highest rate of Sydney, Australia and the lowest rate of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia at P99.63 and P7.53 per cu.m., respectively.

The regional rates were converted into the Philippine peso using an exchange rate of P53.33 per US dollar. The source of the comparative rates is the 2018 Global Water Intelligence Report. — VVS