Roxas City – The Metro Roxas Water District (MRWD) General Manager Engr. Gonzalo Glen B. Delgado disclosed that the water district’s reduced 10% water rates increase proposal (from a high of 29% proposal last 2011) this year 2015 has been approved by the Board of Trustees of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) per its Board Resolution No. 50 dated 25 June 2015.
The new water rates are set to be initially applied by MRWD to the August 2015 consumption of its water concessionaires and will eventually be reflected in their September 2015 billing.
GM Delgado explained, “This water rates adjustment is very reasonable. It is mainly intended to enable the water district to relieve the impact of Php12Million monthly amortization out of LWUA debt-servicing and defray the constantly increasing costs of power, chemicals, fuel, repairs and other necessary expenses needed for the efficient daily operation and maintenance of our water service facilities.”
He said the MRWD has not increased its rates for three (3) years and 5 (five) months.
GM Delgado further said, ”Since, the MRWD has invested substantially on the construction of its own WTP, reliable main and transmission lines, and standard reservoirs; the consumers are now reaping the benefits of adequate supply of potable water, unlike in other areas wherein they resort to water rationing due to scarcity of supply.”
He said that the increase is not that high if converted into pesos. The minimum charge of 10 cubic meters currently costs P 229.00. Come 01 August 2015, this will now be P 252.00 or a 76 centavos increase per day.
“MRWD, like other local water districts, is designed to operate as a financially viable and self-sustaining utility company. Indeed, while we are not profit oriented but a public utility, the reality is that we will still need to generate a sufficient amount of funds in order to sustain our daily operations and to ensure that we can continue providing our consumers with the best water quality and service standards,” Delgado added.
Moreover, Atty. Rodelo G. Franco, Chairperson of the Interim Board, has commended the MRWD Management in their meritorious effort in making the District afloat amidst great challenges. A number of significant institutional and operational accomplishments made by the Board and the Management during the year 2014 are worth mentioning, to wit:
- A modest net income of Php 9,276,107.77;
- Acceptance of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) offer to refinance MRWD’s loans from LWUA in the amount of Php 1.035 billion at 5% interest p.a., instead of an average of 8.5% interest p.a.;
- Approval of the Macro Re categorization of MRWD pursuant to DBM Circular No. 2011-10, subject to DBM approval;
- Reduction of NRW from 30.36 % in Y2013 to 25.27% in Y2014;
- Marked improvements in systems and procedures, particularly in billing, collections and accounting procedures, in line with COA observations;
- Attendance of MRWD personnel in training workshop on procurement processes pursuant to R.A. 9184;
- Amendment of MRWD’s procurement policies to encourage wider and competitive participation of interested bidders/suppliers;
- Approval of the land conversion of MRWD’s Dinginan property to pave the way for the development of a housing project for MRWD employees;
- Approval of a Contract with Caritas Health Shield, Inc., to provide health insurance benefits to MRWD regular employees;
- Continuing review of MRWD’s automated Billing and Collection System;
- Continuing NRW Reduction Program; and
- Amendment of MRWD’s policy on Senior Citizens Discount to maximize benefits to Senior Citizens-Concessionaires.
Meanwhile, Delgado stressed that with the new water rates, even more water consumers can expect to enjoy 24/7 supply of water. He also vowed to sustain the quality of water that MRWD is producing which has consistently passed the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.
Nevertheless, the MRWD is currently working out the option of refinancing of its existing loans from LWUA to be facilitated through a Government Bank offering better terms. The current interest rate of LWUA is at 8.2% per annum, while a government bank has offered a 5% low. This will significantly help the District’s financial standing and may thwart any water rates increase in the next 5 to 8 years.
In parting, your MRWD hopes for your continued support as we do our best to serve you even more”, GM Glen said.