Manila Water spending P81.8 B for service continuity

Published January 24, 2023, 3:37 PM

by James A. Loyola

East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company is spending P81.8 billion over five years for the rehabilitation of its existing facilities and building of new infrastructure to ensure water service continuity in its service areas in Metro Manila and Rizal Province.

In a statement, the utility said this is in response to challenges posed by aging facilities and risks associated with natural disasters and the impact of climate change.

To serve as the company’s compass in the course of running its water and wastewater operations and in the execution of its capital expenditure program, Manila Water has developed a Service Improvement Plan.

The plan is anchored on four sustainability pillars namely: Water Security, to ensure adequacy of water resources for its growing customer base; Service Accessibility, to reach more undeserved and unserved communities in the East Zone; Service Continuity, to make sure that the impact of emergencies or disasters to water supply provision is mitigated; and Environmental Sustainability, to protect and preserve the environment integral to the operations particularly on the provision of wastewater and sanitation services.

Under the Service Continuity pillar in MWC’s 5-year Service Improvement Plan from 2023 to 2027 is a list of projects that include the rehabilitation and improvement of its existing water treatment plants, pump stations and reservoirs, such as Balara Treatment Plant, East La Mesa Treatment Plant, chemical and chlorine houses, and 80 pump stations and reservoirs.

Manila Water is set to spend P37.7 billion for these projects which will help the company maintain its compliance to water quality standards, and improve service reliability, operational flexibility, and efficiency to maintain its current 24/7 uninterrupted water supply.

Pipelaying of reliability lines, regular maintenance of mainlines, and rehabilitation and replacement of aged primary lines in the East Zone also remain a priority for Manila Water to ensure network reliability, allocating P23.8 billion for these projects.

Network efficiency and technology as well as mainline extension projects will also be implemented, with a budget of P14.8 billion and P2.8 billion, respectively.

Furthermore, to mitigate the impact on water supply and distribution to its customers in an event of calamity or emergency, Manila Water has allocated P2.7 billion for its Natural Calamity Risk Mitigation Project, which involves the construction of emergency reservoirs and pipe bridges, and retrofitting and floodproofing of its facilities, reservoirs, and package treatment plants.

“These investments show that we are committed in fulfilling our service obligations to Manila Water’s increasing customer base which is currently more than 7.4 million customers,” Manila Water said.

It added that, “In 2021 alone, Manila Water spent P13.7 billion in capital expenditures, with majority of projects focusing on rehabilitation and improvement on existing assets and facilities. We expect to exceed this figure for 2022.”