Steep water rate hike proposed in Davao City | Inquirer News

Steep water rate hike proposed in Davao City

Davao City water supply project. STORY: Steep water rate hike proposed in Davao City

MAJOR PROJECT | Land preparation activities start for the construction of a bulk water project that will tap Tamugan River in Davao City. The project, undertaken by Apo Agua Infrastructura, will supply the Davao City Water District so the latter can provide potable water to remote areas in the city. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — Residents here may soon wake up to find their water bills higher if the proposed 60-percent water rate increase sought by the Davao City Water District (DCWD) would be approved.

The water utility firm filed the proposed rate increase before the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) in January this year, a month after it reportedly held a public hearing.


Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod, DCWD spokesperson, told the Inquirer that the proposed water rate increase would be used to fund the water utility’s expansion and improvement projects, as well as its operation expenses based on its 10-year development plan for the years 2020 to 2030.


Under the proposal, consumers who use up to 10 cubic meters a month will have to pay about P100 more in their monthly bill. At present, these households pay only P137.30 a month.“[The proposed increase is necessary because] without it, there will be some infrastructure projects that will not be implemented,” Duhaylungsod said.

Service applications

Under the plan, the DCWD targeted to increase the number of its water supply systems from 11 by the end of the year to 23 in 2030. It will also increase the number of its production wells from 77 to 115.

The water utility firm will also increase the number of villages it serves from 118 to 146, to include rural areas in the city’s second and third districts.

“With the development of additional sources, DCWD will also be developing complementary facilities which include additional storage facilities and pipelines and installation of [accessories] for improved water supply distribution,” she added.

Based on its prepandemic record, the water utility received 100 applications for service provisions from condominiums and subdivision projects, some of which would already start operating in 2025.

Part of the amount that would be generated by the increase will also be used to offset the losses of the water utility during the height of the pandemic when many establishments decided to either shut down or suspend operations, Duhaylungsod said.


She said the proposed increase was the first that DCWD sought since 2005. It was supposed to be submitted in 2019, but was delayed because of the pandemic.

In tranches

The water utility hoped to get the LWUA approval two months after its application but the regulatory body required more documentations from DCWD to support its application, Duhaylungsod said.

If approved, the rate increase will be implemented in three tranches. She said 30 percent would be imposed upon approval of the new rate, 20 percent the following year, and the remainder in the third year.

Along with its proposal for a water rate increase, the DCWD also submitted its 10-year development plan to cover its programs between 2020 and 2030. The plan, however, had been shortened to eight years due to the pandemic.

The development plan, which helped justify the water rate increase, has been aligned with the development plan of the city government to address the water requirements of the city.

Duhaylungsod said that when DCWD’s bulk water project with Apo Agua Infrastructura starts operations, the prevailing rates will apply.

The water district and Apo Agua Infrastructura have teamed up for a project tapping the city’s Tamugan River to produce about 300 million liters of potable water a day to serve the city, particularly remote areas in the second and third districts.

The project, which will serve as the lone surface water source of the city, was supposed to have started operations in December last year. Proponents had yet to release updates on the project.


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