The Baguio Water District (BWD) admitted that the three proposed bulk water projects of reputable water companies will be too costly for ordinary consumers because of the exorbitant tariff that will be charged to them.
BWD general manager Engr. Salvador M. Royeca said that the three proponents of the bulk water supply project are still looking for possible sources that will be nearer to the city to significantly reduce the tariff so that safe and potable water will still be affordable to the city residents.
Among the proponents of the bulk water supply project include Prime Water, Maynilad and Manila Water which are reputable water companies operating in various parts of the country, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR).
He pointed out that the bulk water supply project is one of the water district’s long-term interventions to address the increasing demand for safe and potable water by the rapid growth in the city’s population aside from the influx of tourists wanting to spend their well deserved break in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.
One of the major requirements for the proponents of the BWD’s bulk water supply project is for them to have a sustainable water source inside or outside the city without affecting the existing water sources of the water district to ensure that the gap between the demand and supply will be reduced to the minimum level following the completion of the project.
The bulk water supply project had been put in place by the BWD nearly three decades ago purposely to attract investors to help in finding additional sources of water that will address projected shortage of water supply because of the increase in demand caused by the influx of people to the urban center.
Under the BWD’s bulk water supply project, proponents are mandated to ensure the steady supply of at least 50,000 cubic meters of potable water daily to allow the water district to provide regular supply of water to the city’s residents.
However, Royeca claimed that based on the results of the separate studies conducted by the three proponents, the estimated tariff that will be passed on to the water consumers is too costly that is why there are ongoing efforts by the water companies to look for water sources that are near the city to significantly lessen the cost that will be charged to the consumers.
In the past, a number of companies attempted to participate in the realization of the bulk water supply project but among the problems that were encountered by the initial proponents were the absence of water sources that are near the city aggravated by the huge investments that will be infused for the realization of the said project as well as the high tariff that will be charged to the consumers for the return of investment of the investors.
Royeca assured the water district’s consumers that efforts to improve the provision and distribution of the supply of potable water will be done in partnership with prospective companies intending to develop suitable water sources inside and outside the city to be able to address the growing demand for steady water supply within their respective communities. The operation of BWD is regulated by the State-owned Local Water Utilities Administration pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations. By Dexter A. See