By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Boracay Island Water Company, Inc. (Boracay Water) may allot more of its P2.4 billion capital expenditure (capex) — which was supposed to be rolled out within a five-year timeframe — just for this year.
This, as the company upgrades and expands its facility as part of the overall effort to rehabilitate Boracay Island, which President Rodrigo Duterte described as a “cesspool” before temporarily closing it down in April.
Boracay Water General Manager and chief operating officer Joseph Michael Santos said on Friday that their capex for this year was only supposed to be P677 million but this may “balloon to P700 million.”
60 percent of this, according to him, has already been spent.
Through Boracay Water, Manila Water holds the exclusive right to operate, manage, and expand water and used water facilities in the island.
Boracay Water is 80 percent owned by Manila Water and 20 percent owned by the government through Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Started in 2009, the Boracay Water concession will end in 2034.
As of now, the sewer network coverage in Boracay stands at 61 percent. The “grand plan,” according to Santos, is that by 2021, this would go up to 100 percent.
As of now, 70 percent of Boracay Water’s billed volume comes from commercial establishments, while only 30 percent comes from the residents.
By the end of the year, 529 establishments are targeted for sewer connection. This, as the average increase of tourist in Boracay is 15 percent every year since 2010.
The company is also building a third Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) to be built in Barangay Yapak with a treatment capacity of 5 million liters day (MLD), which is set to be completed in the latter part of next year.
Santos said this will cater to the wastewater treatment requirements of commercial and residential establishments in the island’s third barangay.
Once the STP is built, Boracay island will be the only beach destination with a sewage treatment in each of its barangays.
To build the STP facility and its entire complex, the company will have to spend P1.2 billion over the next two years.