Metro Manila’s water bills to rise in January

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CUSTOMERS of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. will face higher bills starting Jan. 1, as the two water concessionaires raise rates to cover inflation costs and foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA).

“Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, residents in the West Zone will have adjusted water rates as Maynilad implements an average basic rate adjustment of P0.97 per cubic meter (/cu.m.), equivalent to 2.80% of the P34.51/cu.m. average basic charge in 2017, which represents the consumer price index (CPI) adjustment,” Maynilad said in a statement on Friday.

The water concessionaire for the west zone of Metro Manila also said it secured regulatory approval to implement a FCDA equivalent to 0.6% of the 2018 average basic charge of P35.48/cu.m. in the first quarter.

“Despite the downward adjustment of an average of P0.17/cu.m. in the FCDA, the overall impact of the CPI adjustments is an increase in the monthly water bills of Maynilad customers for the first quarter,” the company said.

Residents in the West Zone who consume 10 cubic meters or less will see their January monthly bill go up by P2.70 to P121.65 from the current P118.95, while those who consume 20 cubic meters monthly will shell out P10.18 more, paying P455.74 by next month instead of P445.56.

Customers using 30 cubic meters a month will see an increase of P20.78 in their bills to P930.32 from the current rate of P909.54.

Water concessionaires are allowed to recover losses or give back gains through the FCDA tariff mechanism that factors in the movements of the peso against foreign currencies.

The FCDA mechanism has been set because the water concessionaires pay foreign currency-denominated concession fees to the state agency Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as well as loans to fund service improvement projects that will expand and upgrade water and wastewater services.

Maynilad serves most of Manila, parts of Quezon and Makati cities, as well as the cities of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon. Its franchise area includes the cities of Bacoor and Imus and the municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, listed Manila Water said it will implement a 2.8% increase in its current average basic charge of P24.81/cu.m. on Jan. 1.

The Ayala-led east zone concessionaire said the MWSS also allowed it to apply an FCDA of 2.46% to its 2018 average basic charge of P25.50/cu.m.

As a result, Manila Water said the all-in weighted average tariff would increase by P0.16 or 0.45% to P35.13/cu.m. for the first quarter.

Manila Water customers who consume 10 cubic meters and below will pay P2.18 more per month to P82 from last quarter’s P80, while those consuming above 10 cubic meters will see a P0.61 increase to P139 from the current P138.

Households in the east zone who consume 20 cubic meters will pay P1.34 more, bringing their monthly bill to P306 from the current P305. Those consuming 30 cubic meters will see their bills rise by P2.66 to P623 in January, from the current P620.

Manila Water provides water and used water services to Mandaluyong, Pasig, San Juan, Marikina, Pateros, Taguig, Makati, southeastern part of Quezon City and San Andres and Sta. Ana in Manila. It also serves several towns of Rizal province, including San Mateo, Rodriguez, Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay, Angono, Binangonan, Baras and Jalajala.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three key 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 a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato