Cebu City residents okay MCWD rate hike

A PUBLIC hearing conducted by the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 showed that Cebu City residents do not mind the firm’s proposed water tariff adjustment as it comes with improved services from the government-owned utility provider.

Around 500 individuals, mostly from Barangay Apas, attended the public hearing held at the barangay’s multi-purpose gym.

MCWD chairman Jose “Joey” Daluz III told reporters that the people of Barangay Apas warmly welcomed the proposed water tariff adjustments.

The public hearing is one of the requirements of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) before any tariff increase can be approved, said Daluz.

The MCWD has already conducted a series of consultative meetings with the mayors and councilors of the eight local government units (LGUs) under its franchise area which is the first step of the water tariff adjustment process.

Daluz said after the public hearing in Apas, the water district will then visit the remaining seven LGUs and conduct other public hearings.

Once all public hearings have been conducted, the MCWD will submit its application to the LWUA.

It will then be evaluated, reviewed and deliberated on, and if the water tariff adjustment is found to be in order, approved.

The water district assured residents that the water tariff will not be adjusted earlier than July 1, 2023.

At present, MCWD collects from residential connections a minimum water fee of P152 for the first 10 cubic meters of water consumed or P15.20 per cubic meter.

An average household connected to MCWD normally consumes 21 cubic meters of water per month. Its water fee is P339.80 or a total bill of P430.99 including other charges of P91.19 that covers franchise tax, power cost adjustment (PCA) and purchased water adjustment (PWA).

In the proposed adjustment, the average household would pay a water fee of P543.68 or a total bill of P561.90 per month including franchise tax of P10.87 and PWA of P7.35 beginning in mid-2023. The PCA will be incorporated in the water fee under the proposed adjusted rates.

For the first year of the adjustment implementation, MCWD estimates the total bill difference between the present and the new rates to be only P130.91 per month or P4.30 per day. In July 2024, the same household will have a total bill of P617.36, or a difference of P55.46 from the previous year.

Apas residents

During the open forum, the residents’ common concern was on when the water district would be able to promptly deliver a steady supply of water to their homes.

Daluz told residents that now that the Lusaran Bulk Water Project (LBWP) is operational, the MCWD will be able to provide a 24/7 water supply in the barangay before the year ends.

The water district assures of more supply coming into the city since the MCWD has requested an additional supply of 15,000 cubic meters of water per day from the LBWP.

The MCWD will also allow consumers to avail of a staggered payment option for the P6,000 application fee once the pipes connecting the LBWP are set and can start providing water in Apas.

The MCWD through the barangay council of Apas distributed 200 application forms for the 412 Apas residents who attended the public hearing.

Without running water supplied by the MCWD, thousands of Apas residents source their water from other places at a cost of P15 per container.

Daluz said the MCWD will hire more personnel to conduct site inspections on houses that wish to subscribe to MCWD’s services.

The P1.1 billion Lusaran Water Depot which was opened last Sept. 18 currently provides 15,000 cubic meters of water per day. (IRT / PAC)