Stronger peso leads to lower water rates

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    Water rates will be rolled back next month on account of a favorable foreign exchange, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) said.

    FCDA is the tariff mechanism granted to utility companies to allow recovery of losses or give back gains arising from the fluctuating movements of the peso against other currencies as concessionaires pays foreign-dominated fees as well as loans to fund projects that will improve service for its customers.

    Maynilad Water Services will implement an FCDA of negative 0.26 percent of its 2020 average basic charge of P36.24 per cubic meter (cu. m.) or negative P0.09 per cu. m. which will result to a P0.01 reduction per cu. m. compared with the previous FCDA of negative P0.08 per cu. m.

    For customers consuming an average of 10 cu.m. per month or less, the adjustment will translate to a decrease of P0.06 in their monthly water bill. Those consuming 20 cu. m. per month will see a downward adjustment of P0.24 while those consuming 30 cu.m. per month will have P0.50 less charge in their monthly bill.

    Manila Water customers consuming an average of 10 cu.m. per month or less, the adjustment will translate to a decrease of P0.78 in their monthly water bill. Those consuming 20 cu. m. per month will see their bill going down by P1.73, while those consuming 30 cu.m. per month will have P3.52 lower charge in their bill.

    Manila Water’s FCDA is 1.17 percent of its average basic charge of P28.52 per cu. m. or P0.33 per cu. m. This is a downward adjustment of P0.15 per cu. m. compared to the previous FCDA of P0.48 per cu. m.

    MWSS-RO sees the FCDA trend to continue until first quarter next year.

    “The peso keeps on appreciating against US dollar and Japanese yen so we expect that there will be further rollback until the first quarter of 2021,” said Patrick Ty, MWSS-RO chief regulator.

    Meanwhile, Ty said his office submitted recommendations to the Board of Trustees on the actions to be taken on Maynilad and Manila Water issued show-cause orders last July due to a surge of customer complaints on water bills.

    Ty did not elaborate.