Maynilad pours P13B into water services expansion, infrastructure

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad Water Services Incorporated is investing about P13.2 billion this year to improve as well as expand water and wastewater services for its customers.

Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Maynilad said in a statement on Tuesday, February 7, that it is allocating more than half of its 2017 capital spending budget, or around P8.2 billion, for its water infrastructure projects.

Of its 2017 budget, over P4.2 billion has been earmarked for water sources and operations support programs. (READ: Pangilinan-led MPIC to Duterte admin: Let's start with a clean slate)

Some of these programs are improvement works in the West Zone concessionaire's La Mesa and Putatan water treatment plants, upgrade and construction of pumping stations and reservoirs, as well as enhancements of Common Purpose Facilities (CPF) particularly the Bigte Basins, La Mesa Aqueduct, and Ipo Dam in Bulacan.

Maynilad said around P4 billion have been allotted for its water loss recovery or non-revenue water management and service expansion program. This covers meter management, leak detection and repair, pipe replacements, as well as district metered area management.

The rest of the budget will be spent for the modernization of data management and information systems, and maintenance of existing facilities, among other initiatives.

Maynilad said about P5 billion of its 2017 capital investment will be spent for wastewater management projects, to increase sewerage coverage and maintain compliance with environmental standards.

Of the P5 billion, some P4.1 billion will be used for the construction of a new sewage treatment plant (STP) in Las Piñas. Another P345 million will be allotted for the installation of new sewer service connections and all-works for wastewater management.

The remaining funds will go to the automation and maintenance of STPs, lot acquisitions, and sanitation programs.

Maynilad said funding for its infrastructure investments will come from local and international bank loans, as well as from internally-generated funds.

Delays in arbitral award

The water company expects to generate around 40,549 jobs from its capital spending budget program this year.

"Despite the delayed implementation of our arbitral award, we will pursue our investment plans for the West Zone because we have an obligation to provide good water and wastewater services to our over 9 million customers," said Maynilad president and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez.

Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base.

It is the agent and contractor of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area.

In 2014, Maynilad won an arbitration case over unenforced tariff adjustments from 2013 to 2017, but the MWSS did not act on it.

The MWSS has yet to approve water rate hikes under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Metro Pacific Investments Corporation chief financial officer David Nicol said in June 2016 that claims for Maynilad are in the north of P7 billion.

Maynilad is the water unit of Metro Pacific, a listed conglomerate chaired by Pangilinan. – Rappler.com