Brace for higher water bills in August, Davao City consumers told

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 08 Aug) – Water consumers here must expect higher bills for August as the 30-percent water rate adjustment takes effect this month, a Davao City Water District (DCWD) official said Monday.

JC Duhaylungsod, DCWD spokesperson, said during the “Kapehan sa Davao” media forum that the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) approved last month the proposal of the DCWD to increase water rate by 60 percent to raise funds to support the agency’s 10-year development program.

To cushion the adverse impact of the water rate hike on local consumers, she explained that the 60 percent increase would be implemented in three tranches: 30 percent this month, 20 percent in 2023, and 10 percent in 2024.

Duhaylungsod noted, however, that the DCWD might not implement the 20 percent and 10 percent rate adjustments if the agency would have sufficient funds to finance its 10-year development program with the current water rate adjustment.

“All of these programs will help improve our operation and service in the city. The 60 percent that we requested should have been implemented at once, but to cushion the effect of the water rate adjustment to our customers, considering that we have just recovered economically from COVID-19, we will be implementing the first 30 percent this year,” she said.

Duhaylungsod said that “no one objected” to the implementation of the water rate adjustment, although she admitted consumers demanded for an improvement of water supply delivery, particularly in areas where the supply is limited to certain hours of the day.

She said the water utility hopes to improve its services as they implement more projects in the 10-year development plan, which includes, among others, the exploration of more production wells to expand the services of DCWD to unserved barangays.

Of the 182 barangays in the city, she said only 112 are being serviced.

Duhaylungsod said that some areas in the city can have better water supply in the coming months as the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP) of Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. is expected to fully operate within the year.

A joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures and J.V. Angeles Construction Corporation, the DCBWSP project can supply the city with an additional 330 million liters of water or 330,000 cubic meters daily from the city’s watershed.

Duhaylungsod said that the city has 240,000 service connections with an estimated daily demand of around 240,000 cubic meters. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)