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Manila Water Company, Inc.
Manila Water to boost investments in Leyte project

Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc. (MWC), proponent of a water service project in Leyte, has committed to boost investments and assured there would be no tariff adjustments in the first two years of the project as the company focuses on improving service.

MWC partnered with the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) for the project. The company also said that while MWC is allowed to make tariff adjustments after 2019, this would be subject to the approval of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), being the tariff regulator for water districts.

It added that any tariff adjustments would comply with the procedures including public consultations.

“In addition, MWC, through this partnership, will front load its investments to reduce non-revenue water losses aimed at reaching, at least, a world class level of 18 percent, increase water pressure to an appropriate level, and deliver potable water supply 24/7,” it said.

MWC submitted to LMWD in May an unsolicited proposal for a partnership for the design, improvement, upgrade, rehabilitation, and expansion of water supply and sanitation facilities in the province of Leyte, including the city of Tacloban and the relocation sites of the Yolanda victims.

After lengthy and careful review of the proposal and the adoption of the Competitive Challenge process under the NEDA joint venture guidelines, the partnership between MWC and LMWD was established.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
“Pursuant to the partnership, MWC is expected to provide massive investments aimed at improving water and sanitation services where bulk of the investment is expected to be rolled out during the first three years of the project,” MWC said in its proposal.

However, the Tacloban Union of Barangay Officials and Alliance of Water Concessionaires have recently issued unfounded claims and statements on the said partnership, and even issued warnings to the residents of Tacloban City of unnecessary tariff increases when MWC starts its operations.

The city government of Tacloban claims it has the authority to appoint the members of LMWD’s Board of Directors, citing a 2016 decision of the Supreme Court.

But LMWD, for its part, reiterated all members of the BOD (Board of Directors) have valid appointments confirmed by LWUA. Further, all appointed members of the BOD have fixed terms, and are expected by its customers to fulfill its mandate.

LMWD said the Supreme Court decision did not set a precedent with respect to LMWD because of different circumstances.

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