Boracay cleanup jacks up Ayala unit’s capex
The Ayala group unit that is one of the two water service providers on Boracay Island expects its capital expenditures this year to rise to P700 million from P677 million amid cleanup efforts in the area.
Joseph Michael A. Santos, general manager and chief operating officer of Boracay Island Water Co. Inc., said in a briefing that this year’s capex was part of a P2.4-billion kitty for the next five years until 2022.
Boracay Water, a joint venture between Manila Water Philippine Ventures Inc. and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), is in the first year of a five-year rate rebasing period.
During such period, regulators have authorized the company to spend such amount for capex.
Santos said part of the capex program was the construction of the Yapak sewage treatment plant (STP) at the northern end of the island.
He added that Boracay Water had made a commitment with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to start building the Yapak STP earlier than planned to help with the cleanup efforts.
Santos said the STP would have a capacity of 5 million liters daily, and would have sewer network that would stretch at a total of 20 kilometers.
“This would add to our existing 22-km sewer network in Boracay,” he said. “And even if we advance the construction, we will be working within the P2.4-billion, five-year allocation.”
He added that regulators had also authorized Boracay Water to implement a rate increase averaging P15 per cubic meter yearly for the next three years.
“This is not directly related to what is happening in Boracay, but is part of the regulator-approved business plan for the current five-year period,” Santos said.
Earlier this month, Boracay Water said it had plugged 36 illegal pipes connected to the tourist haven’s drainage system amid efforts to ensure proper wastewater management in the island.
The water service utility said such sources have been a major cause of the increased coliform levels at the Bolabog outfall—where drainage empties into the sea—in Boracay.
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