CEBU CITY, Philippines – Water management solutions provider JE Hydro & Bio-Energy Corporation inaugurated its newest water treatment plant (WTP) in Barangay Lusaran, Cebu City, on Thursday, December 8.
The P1.2-billion WTP is expected to produce a maximum capacity of 20 million liters of water per day (MLD) and could benefit 50,000 households or at least 260,000 residents from nine upland barangays.
“Harnessing the water resource potential of the Lusaran River, JE Hydro completed the construction of the state-of-the-art WTP on September 4, 2022, in a span of just 150 days,” the company said in a statement.
“The last time that Cebu City had a facility like this was over a century ago – the Buhisan Dam constructed in 1910 that gave Cebu City 15 MLD,” Joey Daluz, chairman of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), told Rappler.
Daluz explained that the new facility would be a big help in addressing the water supply problems the city is facing.
As of this writing, the MCWD is only producing 80 MLD, but the demand of the city’s residents can reach 160 to 180 MLD.
The supply-demand mismatch prodded MCWD to enter into a bulk water supply agreement with JE Hydro.
“We purchase from JE Hydro, and they will deliver. They already have MCWD approval,” Daluz said.
For 15 years, MCWD will be paying JE Hydro a fixed amount of P65 per cubic meter for additional water supply. The water would then be sold for P24 per cubic meter to the public.
“The domestic consumers are paying less because it is subsidized. The domestic ranges from P24 to P32, while commercial pays P65 and above,” Daluz told Rappler.
Currently, the MCWD subsidizes the water consumption of some 35,000 residents in Cebu City.
Meanwhile, rates for commercial establishments will be at P65.
The water subsidy program started in July 2021, fully covering Cebu City’s 35,000 households that have a monthly water consumption of not more than 10 cubic meters.
The subsidy includes the basic water charge of P180 and other fees, such as tax and purchased water adjustments.