Maynilad to hike outlay sans tariff hike support
West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. plans to double annual capital spending in the next three years to boost its wastewater and water source infrastructure.
In a chance interview, Maynilad president Ramoncito Fernandez said the company was planning to hike its annual budget to about P13 billion to P15 billion.
He said Maynilad was still looking for a bulk water project to augment existing water sources. He said the utility would need to boost its current bulk water source by 200 to 300 million liters a day.
He said a reported alternative bulk water project in Bulacan was still in the exploratory phase.
Maynilad also aims to bring down its non-revenue water (NRW), or the portion of total water volume lost to system leakages, theft or metering inaccuracies, closer to 20 percent in the next five years. The firm’s NRW fell to 29.3 percent at the end of 2015 from 32.9 percent in 2014 as the billed volume grew faster than the marginal increase in water supply. That was the first time Maynilad breached the 30 percent NRW mark.
Asked whether Maynilad would still be able to support its capital outlay sans a boost from its long-sought water tariff hike, Fernandez said: “It will be challenging if the rates are not adjusted and we are pressured to deliver our service obligations.”
“But as far as we’re concerned, we’re optimistic that something will happen. We’ve languished for a long time,” he said.
Maynilad is hoping for a resolution of its tariff increase dispute with water regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)—now subject to a new round of arbitration—this year.
In end-2014, Maynilad received a favorable ruling in connection with an arbitration case for its 2013 to 2017 water tariff petition. Since the regulator did not act on the award, Maynilad sought compensation for losses due to the delayed implementation of the new tariff. This forced Maynilad to file an arbitration anew on March 27, 2015.
“Up to this year, we’re okay internally (to fund capital outlays), but by next near there will be pressure (without tariff hike),” he said.
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