MCWD to consult public on proposed 70% water rate hike

·2 min read

THE Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) will hold a series of consultative meetings with the officials of eight local government units under its franchise area to discuss its proposed water rate increase.

MCWD covers the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay and the municipalities of Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan and Compostela.

After the consultative meetings, MCWD will then launch another set of consultation hearings with its consumers to inform the latter about the effects of an increase on their water bills.

Last week, MCWD said it would implement a 70 percent increase in water rates starting July 2023.

Lawer Jose Daluz III, chairman of the MCWD board of directors, said there would be an adjustment in the water tariff by 60 percent starting July 1, 2023, and “a supplementary adjustment in 2024 by 10 percent.”

He said that based on Local Water Utilities Administration guidelines, water utilities can implement a price adjustment every five years after informing the public about the matter.

The last time MCWD implemented a water tariff increase was over seven years ago on Jan. 1, 2015.

Since then, Daluz said, MCWD had spent P2.1 billion for expansion and rehabilitation projects to serve its consumers better and another P12 billion for operational expenses.

“We have been absorbing the increasing operational costs and our reserve funds are already depleted,” Daluz said last Thursday. “We really need this adjustment in order to continue with our operation.”

Review

On the same day, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama had called on MCWD to review its plan to impose additional water tariffs on July 1, 2023, calling the 60 percent planned increase “abrupt” and “rather unreasonable.”

He asked for any adjustments, if necessary, to be imposed on a staggered basis to spare the consumers any adverse effects until 2025.

Rama also directed the City Council to conduct a public hearing so consumers can speak out on the planned increase.

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