MCWD: Expect water rate hike

·3 min read

CONSUMERS of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) should expect a rate increase of P70 to P120 per 10 cubic meters of water as soon as it begins to supply desalinated water from three privately owned desalination plants that will be built soon.

This means that from the current rate of P180 per 10 cubic meters, Cebu’s water rates could go up to as much as P300 for every 10 cubic meters of water.

MCWD chairman of the board of directors Jose Daluz III, however, clarified that the rate hike will have to go through a process before its implementation such as public consultation and publication in newspapers.

The MCWD also has to seek the approval for the water rate amendment from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

The MCWD targets to supply consumers with desalinated water as part of its long-term solution to address Metro Cebu’s water shortage.

Last October, Daluz said the water district aimed to supply 70,000 cubic meters (or 70 million liters) of desalinated water per day.

The water district has issued a certificate of successful negotiation and original proponent status to FDC Utilities Inc., a subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), in partnership with Hitachi Aqua-Tech Engineering Pte. Ltd., to build desalination plants in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay.

The proposal will have to go through a “Swiss challenge” where other interested individuals or corporations may offer better rates or costs to MCWD within 60 days.

If no other proposals are submitted, MCWD will award the contract to the FDC consortium by June so that work on the desalination plants can immediately begin.

At least P6 billion is needed for the construction of the three water desalination projects in Metro Cebu broken down as follows: P2.3 billion for a desalination plant in South Road Properties (SRP) Cebu City, P2.1 billion for a plant in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City, and P1.8 billion for a plant in Talisay City.

Daluz said under the proposal, the desalination projects will be solely funded by FDC at no cost to MCWD.

The management of these desalination plants will be turned over to MCWD after 25 years, Daluz added.

The desalination plants that will be built in the SRP and Marigondon will each supply 30 million liters of water daily, while the facility in Talisay City will produce 20 million liters daily.

Daluz said the three desalination plants are expected to serve the water needs of more than 80,000 households.

“This is just the start. We need to approve more (projects) to cope with the water demand,” said Daluz, noting Cebu’s continued economic growth.

Daluz said the MCWD will know by next week if other proponents have entered the Swiss challenge.

If there are none, construction of the plants by the FDC will immediately begin.

Construction is expected to be completed after a year and eight months.

Meanwhile, another unsolicited proposal was submitted to MCWD by Vivant Corp. in partnership with an Israeli firm for the construction of seven desalination plants.

Daluz said under the proposal, the plants will be built in Canjulao, Lapu-Lapu City (1), Cordova town (1), Cebu City (2); and one each in the cities of Talisay, Mandaue and Consolacion.

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