By Ric Obedencio | 12:12 AM August 28, 2023
Bohol consumers will not only brace for a sudden sky-rocketing rice and fish prices and other food stuffs sold in local markets but also rates of basic necessities, like water, have gone up.
Bohol Water Utilities, Inc. has announced earlier that water rates under their service areas are increased following the approval by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).
It was not known whether there has been public hearing or consultation conducted prior to the water rates increase approval and enforcement.
According to its Notice to its consumers, “Please be informed that pursuant to the decision of NWRB dated March 13, 2023 under Case No. 23-3528, granting approval to BWUI the following provisional tariff rates.”
Under the residential/institutional bracket the rates are: from zero-5 cubic meters (with ½” meter), P100 minimum consumption; 6-10 cu.m. — P20/cu.m.; 11-20 cu.m. — P23.60/cu.m.; 21-30cu.m. — P28.80; 31-40 cu.m. — P41.10/cu.m.; and over 40 cu.m. — P44.90/cum.
For commercial/industrial consumption with one-inch size of meter: from zero-15cu.m. — P1,107 minimum; 16-30cu.m. — P75/cu.m.; 31-500cu.m. — P76.20/cu.m.; 501-1,000cu.m. —- P77.40/cu.m.; and over 1,000 cu.m. — P78.60/cu.m.
And bulk water supply with meter size of 1” to 4” is pegged at P30/cu.m.
For instance, a water user consumed P50 cu.m. (present reading: 1,662 minus previous reading of 1,612 cu.m. equals 50cu.m. consumed) is now cost the subscriber P1,584.00. This account (of the same consumption) used to pay below P800.00 prior to the increase.
BWUI said that it has been six (6) years that its water rates were “adjusted.”
“The NWRB Economic Regulatory Framework allows tariff adjustment every five years, it has been more than six years since BWUI adjusted its tariff on November 2016. These new water rates will be implemented starting August 01, 2023 billing.”
BWUI advises its consumers to take conservation measures. For more information, contact 0917-720-8672 or 412-0210 or 412-3154. Or (local 602 customer services).
It will be recalled that Provincial Board Member Mimi Boniel has urged her colleagues in 2019 to revisit the controversial deals of light and water managed by former Provincial Public Utilities Department (PPUD) that eventually became the Bohol Light Company, Inc. and Bohol Water Utilities, Inc.
“May I take this opportunity to bring up the issue of privatization of our public utilities which has hugged the national limelight and earned the President’s ire of late and which in similar fashion echoes the concerns of our Boholano constituents regarding the sale/joint venture of our electric and water franchises to a private entity,” she said in her privilege speech.
She said that what happened to the contract between the government and Maynilad and Manila Water through MWSS could also be true to Bohol light and water deals. “I am afraid that the same could be true to our local version of privatization.”
She stressed that the government should protect the interest of the people and looking after the public welfare and “should have the power to review existing contracts entered into by its agents to determine if it is grossly disadvantageous or not.”
It was not immediately known what happened to the Boniel’s request for review of the contract. (rvo)