Dumaguete City and the Dumaguete City Water District (DCWD) have agreed to let another player in and take a water venture between the city water provider and a private company. According to Mayor Felipe Antonio “Ipe” Remollo, other private companies are welcome for a competition as a water provider.
Joint Water Venture in the City
The city government of Dumaguete and the Dumaguete City Water District (DCWD) have reached a compromise agreement that would pave for the
The city government of Dumaguete and the Dumaguete City Water District have reached a compromise agreement that would pave for the joint venture between the water provider and a private company. The joint venture between DCWD and Metro Pacific Water Investment Corp. (MWIC) was previously assailed by the city because of the inclusion of management of the wastewater treatment facility in Barangay Camanjac, which is 50 percent owned by the city government, among others. An injunction was filed over this issue.
However, under the compromise agreement, the septage plant in Camanjac will not be included in the joint venture and the private company will concentrate merely on water distribution. Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said on Monday that 50 percent of DCWD’s share in the septage facility is being donated to the city, so it is now 100-percent owned by the local government unit. With the compromise agreement, there is now no reason for the city to object the decision of the water district to merge with MWIC under a joint venture.
Under the agreement, in case another private company will come in to distribute water, they have to follow the procedure, such as securing a city council approval, similar to the process being undertaken by Prime Water, another “giant” in the water distribution business in the country.
Remollo clarified that the city welcomes competition, provided that private businesses will recognize the authority of the local government unit over them, including water concessions. He said there is no need to withdraw the injunction case, being part of the agreement.
As a government-owned and controlled corporation, the compromise agreement between DCWD and the city was signed by lawyers of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) last week in Dumaguete. Meanwhile, Prime Water is expected to submit to the city government a franchise to engage in the utilization of water from the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), after the city government issued it a permit to operate a water distribution system in Dumaguete.
“This is hitting two birds with one stone for the city,” Remollo said, referring to the two companies have come in to compete in the water distribution business, which means additional revenues for the city.
Under the permits to operate of Prime Water and the joint venture of MWIC and DCWD, the city will receive Php 1 for every cubic meter of water consumption, so the more water is consumed, the more revenues will flow into the city’s coffer. As a result of the 100 percent ownership of the septage facility in Camanjac, the public markets will now be spared from paying the septage fee of Php 2 per cubic meter consumption. Remollo said vendors at the public market merely rent the septic tanks.
With additional revenues, the city will be implementing the amendatory ordinance reducing the septage fee from Php 2 to Php 1.50 for water consumers throughout the city.