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MWSS studies tariff impact of MWC’s P14-B East Bay project

It is crunch time for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) in terms of looking into the tariff impact of pending water project proposals — such as Manila Water’s P14-billion Laguna Lake East Bay project — and securing the public approval for these.


Ideally and specifically, MWSS-RO wants to be able to recommend two projects to the MWSS Board of Trustees before the end of the year to prevent a possible water crisis that may happen in the next two years.

On Monday, MWSS-RO began the series of public consultations on the possible tariff impact of Manila Water’s proposed East Bay Water Supply Project and the P3-billion AMA Bulk Water Supply project, which will both draw water from Laguna Lake.

These projects, which will be able to treat as much as 300 million liters of water per day (MLD) combined, will serve as alternative water sources for Metro Manila sans the lack of a new dam. 

Right now, there are 16.9 million people served by MWSS, through its concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services Inc., as opposed to the only 5.9 million population being served by the agency prior to privatization in 1997.

But even prior to prioritization, Metro Manila only has one major water source, the 53-year old Angat Dam in Bulacan, where it currently gets 97 percent of its demand. 

Initially, the Duterte administration intended to solve this water supply problem by pushing through the long-delayed P12-billion Kaliwa Dam, but the project couldn’t just take off amid environmental and social issues.

The project, to be specific, involves the construction of a massive dam in Quezon and Rizal province that will have a capacity to treat as much as 600 million liters of water per day (mld).

The project was secured by China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC), something that was made possible by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) deal between the governments of Philippines and China.

MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty said during the virtual public consultation that if MWSS couldn’t get the East Bay and AMA projects going by next year, then there will definitely be tightness in water supply in the coming years.

This, according to him, will result in the series of water supply interruptions.

“We will have a supply crunch by 2022 that is why we are trying to fast-track the approval of these projects. If the public consultation is successful, if the public will understand that tariff adjustments are needed to have a reliable water supply, we can target for approval of these projects within the year,” Ty said.

The tariff impact of the AMA project to consumers would be P1.11 per cubic meter (cu.m), while Manila Water’s East Bay project will have a tariff impact of P1.19 per cu.m.

MWSS-RO Consultant Cielito Establecida said these rates are reasonable and will actually have the lowest tariff impact among other pending projects.

For context, the Wawa Dam project, which was approved by MWSS last year, will have a tariff impact of P1.37per cu.m.

If the series of public consultations for the projects of Manila Water and AMA is successful, MWSS-RO will make a final recommendation to the MWSS Board of Trustees, who will then decide if the projects should push through.

Ty also pointed out that while the aforementioned projects will ease the water supply problems in Metro Manila, they will not entirely solve it since much larger dams like the pending Kaliwa and Kanan Dams are still needed.  

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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