Manila Water Hikes Rate

MANILA, Philippines --- East zone water concessionaire Manila Water will increase its rate in its concession area starting October 7 as the yen strengthens against the peso.

Jeric Sevilla, Manila Water spokesman, said the firm has to raise its rates as the company's loans are paid more in yen than dollar.

With the slight rate adjustment, customers consuming 20 cubic meters a month will now pay P304 instead of P303 while clients with consumption of 30 cubic meters a month will be charged P619 slightly than the previous P617.

Manila Water covers the eastern section of Metro Manila, including parts of Manila, Quezon City and Makati City.

Sevilla said that Manila Water is already servicing the loans of Manila Third Sewerage Program which its counterpart in the west zone area does not have.

Sevilla explained that the program is a loan package for the construction of wastewater treatment plants.

He added that that Manila Water is shouldering some of the loans of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) that were denominated in yen.

While the peso had appreciated against the US dollar, Sevilla said it has weakened against the Japanese yen, citing that 60 percent of the loans paid by the firm are in yen.

Meanwhile, west zone water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. yesterday reported an increase of 196 percent of its customers in Parañaque City from 2007 to 2012.

Citing the company's investment program, Ricky Vargas, Maynilad President and Chief Operating Officer, said that from 36,480 customers in 2007 the number increased to 108,112 in the first half of 2012.

Of its Parañaque City customers, 100 percent have 24-hour uninterrupted water supply up from 24 percent who enjoyed the same service level at the end of 2007.

The company has more than doubled those who enjoy water pressure of at least seven pounds per square inch (psi) in Parañaque City from only 45 percent to 99 percent in the same period.

Vargas said it takes about seven psi for water pressure to reach the second floor of a building.

Before Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and DMCI Holdings Inc. (DMCIHI) took over Maynilad in 2007, Parañaque residents had to bear with irregular and expensive water delivery services and private deep wells.

Large subdivisions suffered through rotating water supply schedules and typical households spent P3,000 for a month's water supply.

Vargas noted that at present Maynilad customers in Parañaque City have uninterrupted supply of potable water at an affordable price as households that consume 30 cubic meter of water a month pay only P830.

"When the MPIC and DMCIHI took over in 2007, the infrastructure we inherited needed a lot of upgrading. The new owners had the resources and commitment to turn the company around. We're glad that our customers in Parañaque enjoy and recognize the improvements we've been making." Vargas added.

This year, Maynilad allotted P3.08 billion for capital expenditure projects in Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Cavite.

Vargas said the project includes the reinforcement of pipelines along Daang Hari Highway from Muntinlupa and Las Piñas, replacement of old pipes in several areas of Parañaque, and installation of new pipelines in Cavite.

Maynilad services the cities of Manila (all but portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana), Quezon City (west of San Juan River, West Avenue, EDSA, Congressional, Mindanao Avenue, the northern part starting from the Districts of the Holy Spirit & Batasan Hills), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon in Metro Manila; the cities of Bacoor, Cavite and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite Province.

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