Keeping safe and clean water flowing

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Aside from establishing a certain enterprise and transforming it into a large, profitable company, Manny V. Pangilinan, or MVP, is known for his incredible ability of turning a firm around. Once previously hopeless companies, such as Maynilad Water Services, Inc, which went through a challenging period until the mid-2000s, were attached to his name and touched with his management style, they go on to thrive and perform even beyond expectations.

“Maynilad was in a precarious situation when we took over in 2007. It was deep in debt, non-revenue water (NRW) was dismally high, and cash was tight,” Mr. Pangilinan said at the Iloilo Business Summit in 2011. “We were able to turn the company around in its first year. Now, NRW is at its lowest, revenue and profit will be at historic highs this year,” he added.

Maynilad is the water and wastewater services provider of the 17 cities and municipalities that comprise the West Zone of the Metropolitan Manila area. The water company plays a vital role in the lives of many Filipinos as it helps keep safe, affordable and sustainable water that is needed for drinking, bathing, cooking and other household activities flowing to them.

Aside from delivering potable water, Maynilad provides sewerage services to customers in Tondo, Sampaloc, South Manila, Malabon City, Navotas City, Caloocan City, Projects 7 and 8 in Quezon City, Magallanes Village in Makati City, and parts of Muntinlupa City.

A decade after Maynilad was reprivatized, a lot of positive changes have taken place. It has managed to transition from a water utility into a water solutions company by expanding its portfolio of products, services and expertise.

Maynilad has now a pool of technical experts that deliver services in the areas of hydraulic modelling, water loss reduction, supply and pressure management, Geographic Information System development, wastewater management, project management, and water and wastewater sampling and laboratory analysis, among other technical services.

As a testament to its incredible transformation, the International Water Association in 2013 referred to its success story as “the most dramatic turnaround in the world.” “In many aspects, we have even surpassed the goals that we set out to achieve when we started,” Mr. Pangilinan was quoted as saying in Maynilad’s 2016 annual report.

“We capped our first decade with total investment made in the business of P127 billion. In 2006, Maynilad was servicing less than 678,000 water service connections, of which only 32% had access to water 24 hours a day and only 45% with an average water pressure of 7 psi (pounds per square inch). By the end of 2016, water connections have risen to more than 1.312 million. Of this number, 98.23% is served 24 hours a day and 75.79% have a minimum water pressure of 16 psi,” he said.

Besides the direct positive impact of its improved service, Maynilad has contributed significantly to the growth of the Philippine economy by generating over 29,000 jobs through its operations.

And as an integral part of its business strategy, the company is engaged in various corporate social responsibility initiatives that promote poverty alleviation, sustainable water management and community development, helping many communities, schools and students live better lives.

Recently, in support of this year’s Brigada Eskwela program of the Department of Education, Maynilad sent employee-volunteers to refurbish classrooms and upgrade water and sanitation facilities in 166 public schools throughout its concession area.

The company kicked off its participation in the annual school preparation and improvement event this year with the installation of 26 bidets and replacement of busted faucets and toilet flushes at Malinta Elementary School in Valenzuela City. It also donated bottled waters for the volunteers, educational signages, and cleaning materials to the school.

The management of Maynilad believes that the company’s participation in such initiative not only provides a good learning environment for students, but also reinforces the spirit of volunteerism among its employees.

In line with its commitment to creating a positive impact on the environment, Maynilad recently planted 54,000 mangrove propagules in the Manila Bay coastal areas of Cavite Province. The effort is part of the company’s “Plant for Life” reforestation and afforestation program that started in 2009.

For the series of mangrove-planting activities in Cavite, over 400 volunteers from different government agencies, private companies and schools were tapped. The activity is done in partnership with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources and the local governments of Rosario, Cavite City, Kawit and Noveleta.

By and large, Maynilad, through the “Plant for Life” initiative, has planted almost 180,000 mangrove propagules in Cavite province, Malabon City and Muntinlupa City, and over 500,000 tree saplings at the Ipo Watershed in Bulacan.

Because of Maynilad’s notable community development and education programs, it was honored at the recently held 10th Annual Global CSR Summit and Awards, the Asia’s most prestigious recognition awards program for corporate social responsibility.

The company won a Platinum Award under the “Excellence in Provision of Literacy and Education Category” for its Daloy Dunong program, and bagged a Gold Award under the “Best Community Program Category” for its water-for-the-poor programs Samahang Tubig Maynilad and Pag-asa sa Patubig Partnership.