By Madelaine B.Miraflor
Manila Water Company, Inc. saw its income falling by 27 percent to P1.23 billion during the first three months of the year as the Ayala-led firm continues to suffer the several impacts of the water supply shortage it had to deal with over the past weeks.
In a statement, Manila Water said both its income and revenues would have gone up in the first quarter of the year if it didn’t face a water supply shortage issue, which resulted to its failure to observe its 24/7 water service obligation to its 1.2 million customers.
This has angered consumers and later on the government, eventually pressuring the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to order Manila Water to pay a fine of P534 million to the government. This is on top the self-imposed penalty Manila Water applied for itself.
On a group level, Manila Water said its revenues grew 8 percent to P5.1 billion in the first quarter, driven by higher tariff in the Manila Concession and improved topline growth of its non-Manila Concession businesses.
But this growth was partially offset by the company’s voluntary and one-time bill waiver program to help alleviate the inconvenience it caused its customers because of the water shortage in the East Zone concession.
Under the waiver scheme, all of Manila Water customers will have their minimum charge waived, while customers in barangays that experienced absolutely no water service for at least seven straight or broken days within March 6 to 31 don’t have to pay the company a single centavo in April.
Because of this, Manila Water’s operating expenses reached P2.5 billion, up 39 percent from a year ago, driven by higher costs and expenses.
In all, Manila Water net income margin for the period stood at 24 percent.
Excluding the effects of the water supply shortage in the Manila Concession, its core net income would have gone up by 22 percent to P2.1 billion.