A man pours water in a container in Tondo, Manila, March 23. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

CONSUMERS in Metro Manila will face higher water bills starting next year.

This after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) board gave the go signal for Metro Manila’s two main water concessionaires to implement higher rates on a staggered basis for the next five years starting January 2023.

Patrick Lester N. Ty, chief regulator at the MWSS-Regulatory Office, said the board approved on Nov. 10 the rate rebasing adjustments for Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. that will be implemented from 2023 to 2027.

Beginning January 2023, Manila Water will increase rates by P8.04 per cubic meter, followed by a P5 hike in 2024, P3.25 in 2025, P3 in 2026 and P1.08 in 2027.

Next year, households that consume 10 cubic meters will see their monthly bills increase by P41.19 to P192.42, from P151.23 a year ago. Those consuming 20 cubic meters will pay P91.53 more to P425 from P333.47 a year ago. Those consuming 30 cubic meters will pay P187.10 more to P866.12, from P679.02 a year ago.

Manila Water earlier said the rate adjustments would fund its proposed five-year capital expenditure plan of P181 billion.

Meanwhile, Maynilad will implement a rate increase of P3.29 per cubic meter in January. This means residential customers who consume 10 cubic meters a month will see their bills increase by P5.28 to P135.70, from P130.42 in January 2022.

Households that consume 20 cubic meters and 30 cubic meters should expect monthly bills to go up by P20.29 to P509.11 (from P488.82 a year ago) and by P41.71 to P1,039.64 (from P997.93), respectively.

For the succeeding years, Maynilad will implement a P6.26 rate hike in 2024 and P2.12 hike in 2025. If there is no new water source, rates will rise by P0.84 in 2026 and P0.80 in 2027.

Maynilad said in a stock exchange disclosure the rate adjustments for 2026 and 2027 would depend on the company’s completion of the Kaliwa Dam project, which will serve as a new source of water. If the project is completed, rates will rise by P1.01 in 2026 and 2027.

These adjustments will help fund Maynilad’s plan to spend P150 billion on water and wastewater projects in the next five years.

“These rate adjustments will enable Manila Water and Maynilad to provide the highest quality of water, sanitation and sewerage services that their customers deserve,” Mr. Ty said.

Rate rebasing is done every five years, accompanied by a performance review and validation of the two companies’ projected cash flows. It also sets the water rates in a manner that allows the water suppliers to recover their expenditures.  AEOJ