The Board of Directors of the Bacolod City Water District approved a resolution last week to hold in abeyance the implementation of service connection maintenance fee, pending the opinion of the Local Water Utilities Administration and other government agencies on its query, Baciwa director Mona Dia Jardin said yesterday.
Jardin said their query regarding the increase or adjustment in SCMF was referred to the Legal Department of LWUA. While waiting for its opinion, they passed a resolution to hold its implementation in abeyance.
The resolution was approved unanimously on February 27 and the Board issued a directive to Baciwa general manager Juliana Carbon to send a corresponding letter reply to the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod that had sought an explanation for the adjustment, she said.
Jardin assured Baciwa consumers that there will be no rate increase because they are not implementing the SCMF yet.
Baciwa is proposing to impose an adjustment in its meter repair and maintenance fee, or MRMF now named SCMF, from P2 to P15 per month.
The adjustment in the SCMF was approved by the Baciwa Board per Board Resolution No. 009, dated January 12.
Carbon had said they have no increase in water rates. The increase is just for the SCMF to cover water meter relocation, testing, and other maintenance services.
Carbon said that since 1973, when the water district started, the MRMF was P2, which should have been more because of the increase in maintaining the service connections or the water meters.
This year, Baciwa decided to increase the SCMF from P2 to P15, which is a minimal cost to be paid monthly for the SCMF, she said.
Carbon said there were several attempts to increase the SCMF in the past but there were water rate increases at that time.
Since there have been no water rate increases since 2009, they have decided to charge the consumers an additional P13 for the SCMF for the water district to become viable and to improve its services, especially in the maintenance of its water meters.This will take effect in the February billing, she said.
Earlier, Water Watch manifested its vehement opposition against Reso 009, saying it is grossly disadvantageous to the consumers because the Board can increase other fees, except water rates, by way of a Board resolution which is inimical to Baciwa consumers.*CGS
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