Water rates in NCR, nearby areas to rise slightly
Customers of Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. should see a slight increase of at least 15 centavos and 59 centavos, respectively, on their bills starting April.
The two concessionaires of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) are both increasing their rates in the second quarter of 2016, as approved by the regulator.
The two concessionaires said the increase in tariff was due to the depreciation of the peso, causing them to tweak their Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA). The companies explained the FCDA is a tariff mechanism formulated to account for foreign exchange losses or gains arising from their payment of concession loans and foreign-currency denominated borrowings as well as loans incurred for service expansion and improvement.
Maynilad said, “the (FCDA) adjustment is equivalent to P0.12 per cubic meter (cu.m.) or 0.34% of the average basic charge of P33.87/cu.m.”
For Manila Water, the FCDA adjustment is P0.26/cu.m., which is 1.04 percent of its average basic charge pegged at P24.89 per cu.m.
“The FCDA increase is based on exchange rates of $1: P47.51 and one yen to P40.2 centavos,” it said in a separate statement.
Manila Water said the FCDA has no impact on its projected net income.
Maynilad said residential customers using 10 cu.m. or less monthly will see their bills increase by 15 centavos to P115.91. These so-called lifeline customers account for one-fifth of Maynilad’s customer base.
Maynilad customers using 20 cu.m., on the other hand, will see an increase of 57 centavos for a total bill of P434.14. Those using up to 30 cu.m., on the other hand, will pay P1.17 more at P886.19.
As for Manila Water, customers using less than 10 cu.m.
will be paying the usual amount of P80.05 while those using 10 cu.m. will pay 59 centavos more at P133.65.
Manila Water customers using 20 cu.m. will see their bills adjusted by P1.31 more (for a total bill of P294.57) while those using 30 cu.m. will see an increase of P2.67 or a total bill of P599.71.
Both companies have sought arbitration procedures at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) relating to the MWSS’ ruling on their business proposals for the period 2013 to 2017.
Manila Water proposed a rate hike of P5.83 per cu.m., which the MWSS countered with an order for a rate cut of P1.48 per cu.m.
Maynilad’s proposal was for a rate hike of P8.53 per cu.m., but the regulator ordered a rate cut of P1.46 per cu.m.
Last year, separate arbitration panels issued conflicting decisions mainly on whether a water concessionaire was a public utility.
The panel for the Manila Water case said the concessionaire was indeed a public utility and that it cannot recover from customers its corporate income tax.
In contrast, arbiters for the dispute with Maynilad concluded that “Maynilad is not a public utility itself, but only the agent and contractor of MWSS.”
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