Maynilad seeks other water sources aside from Angat

Katherine Visconti
Maynilad Water Services Inc. is on the lookout for water sources in the provinces to supplement its supply from the Angat Dam

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad Water Services Inc. is on the lookout for water sources in the provinces to supplement its supply from the Angat Dam.

“We’re looking at those opportunities in certain provinces. I think what will help is a very receptive local government,” said Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan at a press briefing on May 9.

Maynilad, the West Zone water utility concessionaire in Metro Manila, sources 97% of its water from the Angat Dam in Bulacan province.

“Angat continues to be a risk. That’s an old structure and we’re working to rehabilitate that,” admitted Maynilad CEO and President Ricky P. Vargas.

“Since we are here in Manila we certainly have to work with the local government to implement a local project in Pampanga or Cebu or wherever that particular project might be, but it’s a complex issue,” said Pangilinan citing the many parties involved in producing water.

“You have the source of water and power and how do you bring the bulk water to the distribution company and from the distribution company to the customer…There are interests in each of those. So if you reorganize the water system you are dealing with quite a number of entities,” he said.

MPIC chief financial officer David Nicol said Maynilad’s capital expenditure for 2012 would be P8.3 billion, a major portion of the roughly 27 billion capex of its parent firm Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC also allotted the following budget for the capital expenditures of its other units:  P1.3 billion for roads, P11.9 billion for power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco), and P1.4 billion for hospitals and P4 billion for MPIC.)

MPIC and Consunji-led DMCI Holdings control Maynilad.

Together wit its counterpart in the east zone, the Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc, have previously undertaken a P1-billion water resource enhancement project for the Angat Dam.

Both Maynilad and Manila Water had opposed the construction of Laiban dam in Rizal and Quezon provinces, citing the possibility that they may be saddled with more expensive water that it will have to buy from the investor who builds the water supply project.

Business rival San Miguel Corp. was the main proponent for the Laiban project, which was touted as an alternative to Angat Dam.

Water officials had said that Metro Manila faces a possible supply problem as water from Angat Dam may not be enough in the coming years. – Rappler.com