Laguna Water signs P1.33-B loan agreement

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Laguna Water, a subsidiary of East Zone water concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc., recently signed a P1.33-billion omnibus loan and security agreement with state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to bankroll the utility’s capital expenditure projects.

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Melvin John Tan, Laguna Water general manager and chief operating officer, said that the loan facility under DBP’s Philippine Water Revolving Fund (PWRF) would be disbursed in two tranches—the first tranche covering P500 million will be released this year while the second and final tranche covering P833 million will be released by 2014.

“Equipped with this financial backing, we are eyeing to achieve universal coverage in the cities of Biñan and Santa Rosa, and more than 50-percent coverage in Cabu­yao by the year 2016,” Tan said.

The PWRF is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The fund aims to help bridge the capital requirements of water utilities so the Philippines can meet its Millennium Development Goals.

In April 2013, the water concessionaire that serves parts of Laguna province took out a loan from DBP worth P500 million to be used for the water company’s modernization and expansion programs.

With the recent signing of the omnibus loan and security agreement, the company has exercised the option to upgrade the loan up to P1.33 billion.

Laguna Water aims to modernize and expand its distribution network in Santa Rosa, Biñan and Cabuyao, where only 28 percent of its potential customers have piped water connections.

James Konstantin Galvez

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