By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor
MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. is setting aside P100 billion as capital expenditure in five years through 2022, or the period covering its fifth rate rebasing, of which more than a quarter will cover the construction of new sewage treatment plants (STPs).
“The P100 billion for five years includes the roughly P40 billion of wastewater plant and conveyance,” Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez told reporters, adding that the budget includes installation of underground pipes.
“The other ones are for water treatment plant — tinatayo pa (under construction) — ‘tsaka (and) reservoir para ma-improve ‘yung (to improve the) [water] pressure ‘tsaka (and) pipe replacement para bumaba ‘yung (to reduce the) non-revenue water, plus the automation,” he added.
Mr. Fernandez disclosed the company’s five-year budget during the inauguration of its new sewage treatment plant in Parañaque on Thursday.
“We have internally generated funds, we have loans,” he said. “We’re still not borrowing too much.”
Company officials said Metro Manila’s west zone concessionaire is investing P26.4 billion in five years to build new STPs and lay sewer lines in Caloocan, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Kawit, Cavite. For this year alone, the company is investing P11.4 billion for wastewater projects.
The new facilities will have a combined treatment capacity of 320 million liters per day (MLD). They are expected to remove harmful substances from the wastewater generated by more than two million Maynilad customers, helping reduce the pollution going into water bodies.
Of the P26.4 billion, about P16.3 billion will be spent to install around 241 kilometers of new sewer lines, which will convey wastewater from households to Maynilad’s new STPs for treatment.
Once completed in 2021, the new facilities will expand the company’s sewerage coverage to 47% from only 6% in 2006 before Maynilad was re-privatized.
The company targets to achieve 100% sewerage coverage by the end of its concession in 2037. It has a customer base of 1,407,503 service connections.
Mr. Fernandez said Maynilad had so far invested P23.3 billion to improve the wastewater infrastructure and expand the coverage in the west zone since 2007. He said by sustaining its investments in wastewater projects, the company is doing its part in the clean up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
Maynilad’s concession area covers a total of 540 square kilometers. The company operates and maintains three water treatment plants, 22 wastewater plants and 28 pumping stations, 32 reservoirs, eight mini-boosters, and 30 online boosters. It has installed a total of 7,691 kilometers of water pipelines.
The new STP in Parañaque was build at a cost of P1.7 billion was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency through the Development Bank of the Philippines. It can treat up to 76,000 million liters of wastewater per day and serve about 500,000 Maynilad customers in the city.
At present, Maynilad is constructing other STPs in Valenzuela, Cavite City, and Tunasan and Cupang in Muntinlupa.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has 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 interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.