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Manila Water rates up starting October

/ 05:02 AM September 29, 2018

Residential customers of Manila Water Co. Inc. will pay more each month starting October by at least P5.68 per cubic meter as regulators approved an increase in the company’s basic charge.

According to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office, the new basic rate for Manila Water meant an additional P5.68 for residential customers who use up to 10 cubic meters a month; P9.13 for those with more than 10 cu m up to 20 cu m, and P19.13 for those with more than 20 cu m up to 30 cu m.

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These are the net result of the 90-centavo increase in the basic rate, which is the first of four installments that will be implemented through the next four years.

MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said in a briefing yesterday the second installment would be P2 per cu m effective starting January 2020. Another P2 per cu m will be added in January 2021. The last tranche will be at least 73 centavos and up to P1.04 per cu m, which will be implemented in January 2022.

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“The approved rate adjustment for Manila Water is an increase in the range of P6.22 up to P6.50 for this latest rate-rebasing period,” Ty said. “This is lower than Manila Water’s proposal for an increase of P8.30 per cu m.”

Ty explained that the approved rate hike was lower than what the company applied for because some of its plans were not given the green light, in particular Manila Water’s Laguna Lake East Bay project.

Manila Water wants to build a P13-billion integrated water supply facility in Pakil, Laguna, to provide additional capacity to produce potable water at 250 million liters daily (MLD). The company has warned that without a new source of water, it might not be able to keep up with increasing demand and a shortfall might happen in starting 2021.

“Manila Water has presented alternative plans to the East Bay project, which the MWSS Corporate Office did not approve because it is too expensive,” Ty said.

“Without such a project, they are allowed to increase their basic charge by P6.22 per cu m,” he added. “Depending on what the alternative project will cost, and if approved, Manila Water can increase its basic charge by an additional 28 centavos more, at the most.”

Ty clarified that the new rates did not include recovery for corporate income tax (CIT) “as some consumer groups insist.”

“The MWSS ruled in the previous rate-rebasing period that the CIT should not be included [to be charged to customers],” Ty said. “The concessionaires have challenged this in court and it is still pending at the Supreme Court.”

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