Water rates in Boracay to increase, but slowlyBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY—A staggered increase in water and waste-water service rates has been approved in Boracay amid opposition from business groups to what the business community there described as “exorbitant” rate increases.
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) approved an increase in rates by the Boracay Island Water Co. (BIWC) starting next month. It would allow BIWC to collect 10 percent more.
The Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), a group of business operators on the island, had passed a resolution calling for a deferment of the proposed increase.
The BFI and municipal council of Malay, Aklan, also pushed for lower and staggered rates of increases.
Last week, the Tieza, which regulates rates of the BIWC, approved an increase of more than 35 percent in BIWC rates.
Lawyer Marites Alvarez, officer in charge of the Tieza regulatory office, said the increase would be implemented on a staggered basis in four years.
Alvarez said a 10.10-percent increase would be implemented on Feb. 1, 9.18 percent next year, 8.4 percent in 2015 and 7.75 percent in 2016.
The current rates for residential users are P200 for consumption of not more than 10 cubic meters per month. People with consumption of up to 20 cu m per month will pay an additional P38 per cu m and those with consumption of up to 50 cu m per month will pay an additional P56 per cu m.
Cost of investments
Bulk users, like resorts and business establishments, will pay P500 for consumption of not more than 10 cu m per month.
The BIWC has proposed a 35.39-percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2013 to cover cost of investments in upgrading their infrastructure and services.
The utility company is a joint venture between the Tieza and the Ayala-owned Manila Water Co. under a 25-year concession which started in 2009. Manila Water has an 80-percent controlling stake in the BIWC while the Tieza has a 20-percent share.