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DCWD cushions effect of possible water hike

The Davao City Water District (DCWD), which claims to hold the lowest water rate in the country, has promised to continue to cushion the effect of possible increase of water charges next year.

“This year we are looking to a possibility of venturing into a water rate increase, possibly next year depending of course with the approval of our regulating agency,” Davao City Water District (DCWD) spokesperson Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod said.

The reason for increase is to fund their expansion plans and to cope with the increasing prices of supplies. With the increase, DCWD can already construct water supply pipes to the remaining 30% in the urban area that are not yet covered by their water services. Also, water pipes will be replaced with larger pipes as part of the preparation for the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project of the Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc. that will be completed in 2021.

“For the longest time we have been cushioning the effect of various increases and if ever we are going to implement a water rate increase, included in the requirements for the implementation for the increase is a public hearing,” Duhaylungsod explained. She said they will be conducting public hearings in the three congressional districts prior to implementation.

As of now, Duhaylungsod said the proposal is still under evaluation “and most probably we will be venturing into coordination with our regulating agency which is the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) so that we could seek their approval for us to increase water rate.” It will be submitted by end of July or first week of August.

She said they have not yet decided the actual amount of increase to be implemented but with regards to their guidelines “it should not exceed 60% of the existing water rate and it should not be more than 5% of the lowest income group of the city.” The present water rate is at 137.30 for the first 10 cubic meter for 1/2 inch residential connection in which she said that even if the regulating body will impose 60% increase, Davao City will still has the lowest rate in the country.

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