THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) stands firm on its decision to appeal to Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) not to increase water prices.
CCCI president Felix Taguiam said the chamber remains loyal to its members as an advocate to keep the cost of business in Cebu reasonable.
“During this pandemic where the economy is at its worst, the business community is sounding an appeal to the MCWD not to increase the price of water,” Taguiam said.
Taguiam said they will conduct a forum with MCWD to discuss proposals to address the water shortage.
“We are open to hear from MCWD their proposal so that we will be able to find a way to move forward that does not hurt the consumers nor MCWD,” he said.
MCWD earlier challenged CCCI to submit a proposal after the chamber issued a position paper opposing the water price hike.
CCCI said business enterprises, most especially the micro, small and medium enterprises are crippled by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
Earlier, the chamber said even during the pre-pandemic era, Cebu business competitiveness had decreased significantly from being third in the country in 2015 to a record 25th in 2018.
It was substantiated further with the results of the CCCI’s July 2019 Report entitled “Shared Ambisyon: Driving Cebu Competitiveness to the Next Level” commissioned to PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC/ Isla Lipana & Co.
The report revealed the high cost of utilities including water as among the top three obstacles to the success of business and Cebu as a whole.
In response, MCWD chairman Jose Daluz challenged the chamber to present a counter proposal and to unite for a common goal.
From 2010 to 2020, the water problem was already critical in its shortage, Daluz said in an earlier interview.
MCWD has received an unsolicited offer from FDC Utilities Inc. to build desalination plants in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. MCWD has put the proposal on Swiss Challenge, giving other companies 60 days from May 19, 2021 to counter the offer.
But when MCWD operates the desalination plants, this will mean an increase of P70 to P120 per cubic meter in the price of water. / job