• ‘Water rate hike unfair’

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    A worker checks water meters outside a building in Manila. Customers of Manila Water and Maynilad will pay more for their water consumption unless the price increase is stopped by the government or the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    A worker checks water meters outside a building in Manila. Customers of Manila Water and Maynilad will pay more for their water consumption unless the price increase is stopped by the government or the Supreme Court. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    Lawmaker slams Maynilad, Manila Water for passing on taxes to consumers
    THE approved increases in water rates by concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water should be voided for being unfair to consumers, according to House Minority Leader Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna party-list.

    He made the call on Tuesday in light of the rate adjustments, which the concessionaires said resulted from implementation of an increase in foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA).

    FCDA is a mechanism that allows Maynilad and Manila Water to cover foreign exchange fluctuations that also affect their payments on foreign currency-denominated loans for expansion and service improvement.

    Under the increases that will take effect in January 2015, those consuming 20 cubic meters a month will have to pay an additional P4.45 and those consuming 30 cubic meters, P9.12 more.

    Manila Water will be posting a price hike of 0.36 per cubic meter by January, while Maynilad will increase its price by 0.38 per cubic meter.

    This means an additional P1.19 in the bill of Maynilad’s lifetime consumers, or those that consume 10 cubic meters and below per month.

    The hike will add P4.45 to the bill of those that consume 20 cubic meters a month, and P9.12 for 30 cubic meters.

    According to Manila Water and Maynilad, the increase comes in line with foreign currency differential adjustment, or the change of the value of the peso against other currencies.

    Maynilad serves Metro Manila’s West Zone including Manila, some areas in Quezon City, Caloocan, Navotas, Malabon,Valenzuela, Pasay, Las Piñas, Paranaque and Muntinlupa and Cavite City, Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite province.

    Manila Water primarily serves the East Zone which covers parts of Quezon City, Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Rizal province.

    Colmenares said the concessionaires must first refund billions of pesos that they had collected from the public for still unimplemented water projects before they could raise water charges.

    Among these projects involve Angat dam (P5.4 billion) and Laiban dam (P45.3 billion).

    “These water concessionaires are raking in billions by fooling us. They borrow from foreign creditors without any qualms knowing that they are insulated from the risks ordinary borrowers take because they’re allowed to pass on their foreign exchange losses to their consumers,” Colmenares, a lawyer, pointed out.

    “They want their cake and eat it too. Can you believe this? They want us to pay for their tax dues. Government has to stop this practice of making the people shoulder all the risks and losses of public utilities and awarding contracts to companies whose main interest is profit-secured business instead of public service,” he said.

    Colmenares slammed Maynilad and Manila water for passing their income, value-added, documentary-stamp and other taxes to consumers.

    According to the non-government Water for the People Network, such taxes charged to the consumers have amounted to P15 billion.

    “This [passing on of charges to consumers]is highly questionable. This is detrimental to the interest of the government and the people and thus, must be voided. The Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office should act now to end this practice and have the water concessionaires refund this to consumers,” the lawmaker said.

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    6 Comments

    1. This is Aquino government service to the Fili[ino people…You people who favors this EDSA 1 suffered a lot. Now you are complaining..DAmn you followers of Pnoy Aquino and his allied.

    2. Roberto T. Galing on

      I’m paying maynilad around P3,800/month for a family of 11 for water utility. My electricity bill averages around P4,800-P5,400.
      Maynilad only got their francise from mwss. Investment wise, they only entered the scene after all pipes had been laid by mwss and consumers benifiting from it. Before maynilad entered this contract, mwss is charging consumers around 10% of what i am paying now.

      Electricity is harnessed through generators and fuel while water is harnessed through filtrations ( sinasala) from the river.

      There will come a time that my water bill will be much higher than my electricity bill. Thanks to all gov’t agencies for the hardship they are giving us.

    3. Thanks again to Mr. Colmenares for pointing this out when no one raise a voice against it. Please send this case to the Supreme Court. MWSS approved it already. I hope it could be blocked.

    4. WATER/MRT/LRT RAILWAY EXTORTION
      Profit-Oriented MRT/LRT Transportation business is as simple as ABC. They provide the railway lines for public mass transport in exchange for a corresponding fare enough to accumulate a calculated income in excess of investment, maintaining serviceability, repair and rebuilding cost. So the only reason of asking for more fare hike is nothing else but HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

    5. This proposal on water increase proposal should be seriously considered by our leaders of consequence. Water is life itself. Humans without mentioning other living things are made up of water to survive.Multinational corporations or domestic corporations for that matter are known for greedy policies and are branded as corporatocratic agencies bleeding the masses for huge profits knowing how essential water is needed. And the most affected areas in our society will be the poor. Heaven forbids this propose price increase will happen. It is ironic that oils’ price is going downward and here comes water which is life itself being threatened.

    6. If I were an international investor, I would seriously reconsider investing in the Philippines and the reason(s) are very crystal clear. In the bidding stage, I would need to bribe a multitude of government officials starting from the president down to the office clerk just to get a foothold in the govt agency that is bidding a project. Even when I have won the project bid, the losing bidders still are able to derail the project by bribing the same govt oficials mentioned above plus judges in the judiciary department which readily grants TRO’s if the price is right. Assuming I surpass this hurdle, the next calvary is to bribe (AGAIN) government officials to get all the necessary permits from the national and local govts. And when the actual implementation of the project begins, I will continually be harassed by the mayors, police and even the bandits npa and asg for protection money. Just thinking of these hurdles one has to go through just to do business in the Philippines makes one sick already. And Filipinos wonder why their nation continues to languish as one of the bottom-feeders among the world’s banana republics???? Filipinos cannot even decide whether to imprison corrupt politicians like the Marcoses, Estradas and Arroyos or whether to make them heroes!