• Boracay Water requires P4.28B for upgrades

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    BORACAY Island Water Company (BIWC), a unit of Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc., said it will require some P4.28 billion to complete a series facilities upgrades to further improve its services in the country’s top island destination.

    Blanca Eunicia Aldaba, BIWC business operations chief, said the amount will cover the company’s total investment on Boracay Island until the end of the concession period.

    “The P4.28 billion is the needed investment until the end of the concession based on the projections. It will be the required amount for the plans to be completed based on the requirements until 2034,” Aldaba said in a media briefing over the weekend.

    For the first five years including 2017, the company will be spending P3.07 billion for Yapak STP (sewage treatment plant) for the expansion of the Manocmanoc treatment plant.

    “In reality, by 2022, Boracay Water will already be 100 percent sewer covered on the wastewater side,” she added.

    The company is a joint venture between Manila Water Co. Inc. and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

    Among the projects intended to be funded with the said capital requirements are the construction of the 5-million liters per day (MLD) Yapak STP by 2019; the upgrade of the 8.5 MLD Manocmanoc STP by 2018; and the rehabilitation of the 6.5 MLD Balabag STP.

    Boracay Water also earmarked the money to build more than 11 km of sewer pipes and increase sewer network from 18.61 km to 30.27 km by 2020; and triple sewer connections from the current 1,007 connections to 3,689 by next year

    However, the company clarified that the P4.28 billion total requirement may be changed after 2021, when another rate rebasing is done to update demand projections, and noted that the P3.07 billion is the amount that will surely be spent within five years.

    The plans were set in anticipation of the expected annual increase of tourist arrivals in Boracay, it said.

    “We assumed that there will be a five percent increase every year so by 2026, it will then reach 2.67 million. In 2034, by the end of the concession, it will be 3.94 million tourist arrivals based on our projections. We are basing it from the actual average increase for the last seven years. We now have a total of 6,400 water service connections and 70 percent of it is residential accounts. However, based on consumption volume, 70 percent is commercial while residential is only 30 percent,” Aldaba said.

    Meanwhile, TIEZA regulatory office officer-in-charge Maritess Alvarez said that the company is also set to look for a new source of water in order to have a “fallback” if ever the island’s current sole source of water, the Nabaoy River — across the sea in the town of Malay, Aklan – dries up.

    “Based on studies, in a few years, there’s a possibility that Nabaoy River will dry up so they are preparing for that scenario. So, Boracay Water will be constructing a 15 MLD new raw water resource facility,” she said.

    Based on its feasibility study, the 15 MLD will be the island’s requirement for 2017 to 2034.

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