MCWD seeks increase of water tariff
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) is seeking an increase of water fees from the Local Water Authorities Administration (LWUA).
General Manager Stephen Yee confirmed that they are now undergoing the process of proposing an increase, which they hope to be granted next year.
Yee assured that the increase will not be imposed anytime soon as they have just started to gather the documents for the request.
Furthermore, they need to conduct hearing in the four local government units (LGUs) served by MCWD, including the Cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Talisay, and towns of Liloan and some portions of Consolacion.
Yee said that at the earliest time they expect LWUA to approve would be late this year with implementation early in 2023.
No supply improvement, no increase
Still, LWUA is also not expected to approve an increase of 60 percent and will most likely approve an increase of less than that.
Engineer John Macabinta, the corporate planning department head of MCWD, said that the Board of Directors also had one condition for the increase.
“Per instruction [of our] board, the increase will happen only when we have substantial supply coming in. Kung dili mafeel sa tawo ang nindot nga supply, wala tay increase,” said Macabinta.
(If the consumers can’t feel the better supply, then there will be no increase.)
Since MCWD is expecting an incoming supply of up to 15,000 cubic meters per day from the Lusaran Bulk Water Project in September 2022, they are now confident to seek for the increase.
“Based on the project timeline, they are contract,” said the engineer.
Macabinta said that the last time MCWD sought for an increase was in 2015, and for the past seven years, the utility has absorbed all economic consequences of the times.
The rising fuel costs due to the war between Ukraine and Russia has also affected the cost of delivering supply to consumers, yet MCWD carried the burden of the cost.
Since MCWD is not profit-oriented, Macabinta said they did not seek an increase because of this.
They sought an increase because after seven years, the cost of water supply and the cost of distribution has also increased.
Should the increase be approved by LWUA, MCWD explained the percent of increase will be added per cubic meter.
Since the rates of MCWD is bracketed according to connection size, the increase will apply per bracket as well.
For an example, the price of water of up to 10 cubic meters is only P15.2. The increase will be added to the price per cubic meter so a household that consumes 10 cubic meters will pay P152 plus the additional increase.
If the increase is 60 percent, the price of supply for low consuming household will be P172.
Here is a list of the price bracket per connection size:
Yee said that while they are planning to seek an increase, the actual amount of the increase will depend on the results of public hearing and the review of LWUA.
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