The secretary general of Water Watch saidyesterday it is not advisable for the Bacolod City Water District to increase its rates at this time when there is an unabated increase in the prices of basic goods and services.
This was the reaction of Wennie Sancho to the petition of Baciwa for a water rate increase pending with the Local Water Utilities Administration.
Sancho said Baciwa cannot justify the increase because of its inefficient service. It is unethical to increase water rates when there is no adequate water supply for its consumers.
People will not complain against water rate increases if water-related services are efficient and there is abundance of water supply, he said.
Baciwa filed the petition for water rate increase with LWUA in 2014 yet, its general manager Juliana Carbon said.
Carbon said the water rate of Baciwa since 2009 is P208 which they want to increase to P248. This should have been implemented in 2010 or 2011 yet. The current rate is P20 and P80 for the first 10 cubic meters. One cubic meter is equivalent to 1,000 liters, she said.
There is a need to increase the rates since they have been affected by the increase in the price of commodities because of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Carbon said.
Jenelyn Gemora, Baciwa assistant general manager for operations, said Baciwa lacks 15 million liters of water per day during peak hours.
Alma Abrasaldo, Bayawan Water District general manager and immediate past president of the Philippine Association of Water Districts, said their application for water rate increase was approved by LWUA after four years since they have submitted all necessary documents and justified the increase.
Out of the 522 water districts, only the application of the Bayawan Water District was approved in 2016 for P230 per cubic meter because they have treatment plants, she said.*CGS
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