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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) has moved the awarding of contracts to three bulk water suppliers next year after the post qualification process of the bids and awards committee.

In an interview with Serbisyo Publiko hosted by Iloilo City Councilor Perla Zulueta over Sky Cable Sunday, Engr. Adrian Moncada, MIWD director, the bulk water supply contracts will be awarded January 2010.

Moncada said they expect the contractors to start working on their facilities by February 2010.

“Six months after we awarded the contract, we can expect 20,000 cubic meters of additional water from the suppliers,” Moncada said.

Maynilad Water Services Inc., Solerex Water Technologies, Inc. and Abejo Builders Corp. offered the lowest bid for four injection points where the bulk water supply will be transmitted.

Maynilad won the contract for the Pavia injection point, which has a capacity of 10,000 cu m, at P11.98 per cu m.

Solerex got the Leganes injection point (2,000 cu m) at P14.28 per cu m.

Abejo will supply 8,000 cu m of water through the San Miguel and Ungka (Jaro) injection points at P13.98 per cu m.

Dr. Danilo Encarnacion, MIWD director, said the suppliers can draw water from surface or underwater sources depending on the location of the injection points.

Encarnacion said the winning bidders will have to construct their own facilities such as water treatment facility.

The MIWD also clarified the issue raised by a municipal councilor of Pavia who claimed that they were bypassed in the bidding process.

Moncada said the bidding was internal to the MIWD and there is no need to seek clearance from the host towns.

“Once the winning bidders start constructing their facilities, they will have to seek regular permits and other clearances from the municipal government concerned,” Moncada said.

Moncada reiterated that they will not jack up water rates after the bulk water supply is implemented.

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Doctor’s appointment to MIWD board in order

By Francis Allan L. Angelo 

THE appointment of a director of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is in order based on documents secured by The Daily Guardian, contrary to the claims of a group of employees of the water district.

Dr. Danilo Encarnacion said he was appointed to the MIWD board in December 2008 by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas after satisfying the requirements, particularly his nomination from the West Visayas State University (WVSU).

Encarnacion was appointed as MIWD director as representative of the academe.

The Metro Iloilo Water District Employees Union claimed in a letter to Treñas dated November 17, 2009 that Encarnacion’s appointment was not in order as there were two nominees from the academe. The other nominee is a certain Atty. Jose Gelacio Castro.

Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) Acting Administrator Daniel Landingin intervened in the issue by declaring Encarnacion’s appointment “null and void.”

Documents show that Encarnacion’s nomination was signed by Dr. Pablo Subong, WVSU president and Dr. Emiliana Carmona, WVSU College of Medicine dean.

Castro’s nomination paper was signed by Dr. Ramon Zarceno, WVSU vice president for academic affairs. Interestingly, somebody else signed Castro’s papers in behalf of Subong, not the WVSU president himself.

“It appears that it was not Dr. Subong who signed Castro’s papers but somebody else in behalf of the university president. The signature was affixed on the nomination paper ‘for’ the president, not Dr. Subong himself,” Encarnacion said.

Encarnacion said he submitted his nomination papers to the MIWD corporate secretary on November 1, 2008, last day of the filing of all nominations.

Encarnacion said he was the only nominee from the sector to appear before the board to submit his paper.

The documents also show that Castro submitted his papers to the MIWD on November 14, 2008, which is 13 days past the deadline.

Atty. Florecita Gelveson, MIWD corporate secretary, said in her letter to LWUA that Lira’s nomination papers were “filed out of time.”

Even Landingin conformed with Encarnacion’s nomination based on the LWUA official’s letter to the MIWD director dated May 11, 2009.

Encarnacion also questioned LWUA’s intervention in the issue because the only appointing authority they recognize is the city mayor.

“Only the city mayor can appoint or sack members of the board of directors. We are wondering why LWUA entered the picture despite confirming my appointment early this year,” he added.

Celso Javelosa, MIWD board chairman, said in a press statement that Encarnacion is still a member of the water firm’s board.

3 firms win MIWD contracts

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THREE firms won bulk water supply contracts from the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) Wednesday (December 9) afternoon.

The winners are Maynilad Water Services Inc., Solerex Water Technologies, Inc. and Abejo Builders Corp.

Engr. Adrian N. Moncada, MIWD director, said a total of 20,000 cubic meters of water supply daily was bidded out.

The winning bidders were allocated four injection points where they can establish and connect their contracted water supply.

Maynilad won the contract for the Pavia injection point, which has a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters, at P11.98 per cu m.

Solerex got the Leganes injection point (2,000 cu m) at P14.28 per cu m.

Abejo will supply 8,000 cu m of water through the San Miguel and Ungka (Jaro) injection points at P13.98 per cu m.

The winnings bidders tendered prices below the P15 approved budget for construction stipulated in MIWD’s terms of reference.

Moncada said they might formally award the contracts to the winners next week.

“It (bidding) looks like a successful one. A total of 20,000 cubic meters of water was bidded out. The Special Bids and Awards Committee is undertaking the post qualification process and may recommend to the board the awarding of contracts during the December 17 meeting,” Moncada said.

The contracted water supply is seen to serve part of MIWD’s 31,000 consumers in Iloilo City and neighboring towns. 

Some 74% or 23,000 MIWD consumers are based in Iloilo City while the other consumers are spread in the towns of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, Maasin, San Miguel and Oton. 

The additional 20,000 cu m supply from bulk contractors will serve an additional 23% of the firm’s total consumers.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE board of directors of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is looking into partnering with the private sector as part of its long term improvement plans. 

Celso G. Javelosa, MIWD board of directors chair, said they will pattern the collaboration after the public-private partnership (PPP) of the Iloilo City government.

Under the PPP setup, MIWD will invite a private firm that will handle the transmission and distribution operations of the water firm.

Javelosa said the PPP is different from privatization of government-owned and controlled firms.

It’s public-private partnership, not privatization. We will not sell out and let go of MIWD. We will only offer some operational aspects of the water district to private entities,” he added.

Engr. Adrian N. Moncada, MIWD director, said MIWD will maintain regulatory functions over the private sector partner to protect consumers’ interest.

Moncada said one advantage of the PPP setup is faster procurement procedure that will hasten their development projects.

Moncada said MIWD is compelled to follow Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Law) which slows down their plans to improve their supply and distribution systems.

One of the major development plans MIWD is implementing is the bidding of the bulk water supply which is seen to improve the pressure, volume and quality of water.

Five companies have signified their intention to join the bidding so far, Moncada said.

The MIWD eyes to distribute 45,000 cubic meters of water to 31,000 consumers in Iloilo City and neighboring towns.

The water firm produces a gross of 45,000 cu m a day from surface and underground sources.

 But MIWD can actually distribute only 26,100 cu m to consumers because some 42% of their production is considered non-revenue water (NRW) or water lost to leakages and pilferages.

Moncada said they will minimize NRW levels by 20-22% in the next 10 years.

“While we increase our volume, we will also reduce our losses. In the case of water utilities in Metro Manila, the average reduction in NRW is 2% per year. If that is our benchmark, we will try to reduce our losses by as much as 22% in 10 years,” Moncada said. 

De-annexation of towns from water district ‘not viable’

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE move of the Local Water Utilities Administration to convince five towns to sever ties with Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is not viable and may spell trouble for these municipalities.

Celso Javelosa, MIWD board of directors chair, said they doubt if the towns of Maasin, Cabatuan, San Miguel, Oton and Pavia can muster the resources and expenses to put up their own water utilities.

Javelosa said the move of defeated senatorial candidate Prospero Pichay, now LWUA board chair, is contrary to LWUA’s mandate.

“The LWUA board is the policy-making body for water utilities. But what Pichay is doing is inimical to MIWD and the towns also,” Javelosa said.

Pichay has been cajoling the five towns to de-annex from MIWD because of the latter’s failure to address water shortage in its franchise area.

Pichay has been dangling P20 million to each local government unit for training and capacity-building in putting up their respective water utilities.

Engr. Edgar Manaay, an expert in the energy and water sectors, said local government units should be wary in falling for Pichay’s ploy.

Manaay cited the case of the water districts in Passi City and Dumangas which are facing financial problems.

Manaay said that except for Pavia which is at the tailend of both surface and underground water flow from the Tigum and Aganan river basins, the four other towns have no viable sources of water.

“It is the height of irresponsibility (for Pichay) as LWUA Board Chairman to prod the mayors who are more innocent than himself on matters of hydrology and water supply to separate from MIWD without a thorough technical analysis of its water resources,” Manaay said.

Engr. Adrian Moncada, MIWD director, said the five towns need to study the feasibility of establishing and maintaining their respective water districts.

“You have to spend hundreds of millions pesos to put up supply and distribution lines aside from looking for their own sources. And they also have to look into their client base, like in the case of San Miguel which only has 300 consumers. It will not be financially healthy to spend hundreds of millions when you will only earn less than a million a month,” Moncada said.  

But Moncada said they see some advantages if the five towns part ways from MIWD as consumers in the said area are subsidized by their clients in Iloilo City.

“If they detach from our service, we will stop subsidizing their consumers which is financially good for MIWD,” he added.

Javelosa said town-based water utilities are vulnerable to politics which might affect the financial management and maintenance of the firm.

Javelosa said they recognize Pichay’s effort to prod MIWD to improve its services but the latter was only good in “lip service.”

“Pichay promised us to help us dissuade the local governments of San Miguel and Oton from exacting royalties if we dig new ground wells but nothing happened to that promise. Pichay is even stirring the situation,” Javelosa said.

Javelosa said they were also surprised when Pichay recalled the sixth member of the MIWD board sent by LWUA.

Javelosa said they welcomed the sixth board member from LWUA to help in their medium- and long-term improvement plans.  

“We are not afraid of this threats and moves to dismember MIWD. We are doing everything to improve our services. As long as we are right and doing our job, we will not be bothered,” he added.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

FIVE bulk water suppliers have been accredited to join the bidding for the bulk water supply contract of Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

Adrian N. Moncada, a member of the MIWD board of directors, said the five suppliers who signified to join the bidding are Maynilad Water Services Inc., Manila Water Co., Rio Verde Water Consortium, Inc., Abejo Builders Corp., and Solerex Water Technologies, Inc.

Mr. Moncada said the five firms have submitted pre-bidding requirements to MIWD and have been accredited to bid for the bulk water supply next month.

Mr. Moncada said the bidders must satisfy three prerequisites to win the contract – quality, quantity and pressure.

Under the bulk water supply agreement, the winning bidder/s will look for its sources, establish the supply which will connect to MIWD’s four injection points in Jaro, Iloilo City and the towns of Leganes, San Miguel and Pavia.

Each injection point has corresponding volume capacity – Jaro (5,000 cubic meters), Leganes (2,000 cu m), San Miguel (3,000 cu m) and Pavia (10,000 cu m).  

According to Celso G. Javelosa, MIWD board chairman, they might award separate supply contracts to two to three bidders.

“The presence of multiple suppliers will also allow competition to kick in which will redound to affordable water rates to consumers,” Mr. Javelosa said at the sidelines of the MIWD board meeting last week.  

Mr. Moncada said the bidders must specify in their tenders the price per cubic meter and the injection point where they intend to transmit their water supply.  

“The bid price must not exceed the approved budget for construction of P15 per cubic meter which is stipulated in the terms of reference of the bidding,” Mr. Moncada said.

The MIWD is eyeing to contract some 20,000 cubic meters of water to serve part of its 31,000 consumers in Iloilo City and neighboring towns.  

Some 74% or 23,000 MIWD consumers are based in Iloilo City while the other consumers are spread in the towns of Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, Maasin, San Miguel and Oton.  

Mr. Moncada said the additional 20,000 cu m supply from bulk contractors will serve an additional 23% of their total consumers.

Mr. Javelosa said they must distribute 45,000 cu m of water to MIWD consumers.

“During our strategic and diagnostic planning, we realized that we have shortage because of leakages and low pressure. The bulk water supply is one of the measures that we considered to address these problems,” Mr. Javelosa said.

Warren D. Palermo, MIWD operations chief, said the water firm produces a gross of 45,000 cu m a day from surface and underground sources.   

But MIWD can actually distribute 26,100 cu m to consumers because some 42% of their production is considered non-revenue water (NRW).  

Mr. Palermo said NRW is due to technical and physical losses. Physical losses are brought about by faulty lines which are not yet rehabilitated, while technical losses are due to faulty water meters.  

Pilferages also account for water supply losses, Mr. Palermo said.

He said they have already rehabilitated almost all systems except in the area of Lapuz, Iloilo City.

Mr. Palermo added that they were not able to restore 100 percent of their system’s pressure before Typhoon Frank hit last year because of changes in the water flow from the Maasin watershed.  

Heavy siltation in MIWD’s treatment plant in Sta. Barbara town also affected water quality.

NO RATE HIKE

When asked if the bulk water supply contract will hike rates, Mr. Javelosa said they will not increase charges on consumers, especially if non-water revenue (water lost to pilferage and leakages) is reduced.

Based on MIWD’s terms of reference on the bulk water supply contract, the bidders must not exceed the P15 approved rate of construction.   

The MIWD presently charges P15.90 for the first 10 cu m consumed by its clients. 

Mr. Javelosa said major water suppliers took interest in Iloilo City because they saw potentials in the metropolis.

“They saw that there is available market which can increase the next years. They also saw potential source of water which will make their projects easier,” Mr. Javelosa said.

OTHER SOURCES

Aside from the bulk water supply, Mr. Moncada said they are looking for surface water sources to augment their supply.

Mr. Moncada said MIWD’s ground well sources in San Miguel and Oton are already depleting.

A recent study by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed salt water intrusion in the aquifers of Oton. Also, the replenishment rate of aquifers in San Miguel slowed down resulting in decreased water production.

Mr. Moncada said they are also considering the P15-billion Jalaur River Multi Purpose Project (JRMPP) of the National Irrigation Administration as another source of water.

Mr. Moncada said the JRMPP allocated some 80,000 cu m of water to MIWD which can sustain the water firm’s requirement in the next 50 years.

Other potential bulk water resources being eyed by MIWD is the Sibalom River system in southern Iloilo and the Tinagong Dagat lake in the town of Lambunao, Iloilo. 

LWUA chair vows to help local water firm

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) will help the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) detect leakages in its pipelines and look for other sources of water for the metropolis.

 

This was the outcome of dialogue between LWUA board chair Prospero “Butch” Pichay, MIWD board of directors and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas Friday morning at the water firm’s office.

 

Pichay, who went to Iloilo City and dialogue with top MIWD and city officials relative to the supply crisis besetting the water utility’s service area, never talked about the report in a local tabloid (not The Daily Guardian) on the alleged plan of Pichay to take over the MIWD management. The dialogue was cordial, contrary to a series of stories in the same tabloid depicting a mad Pichay raring to spank the MIWD management.

 

Pichay said LWUA will support MIWD’s 5-year management plan which includes short and long-term solutions to supply and distribution problems.

 

“Maganda naman ang plano nila and all I wanted was to fast track the implementation,” he said.

 

For the short term plans, the LWUA official said they will explore possible water wells in the municipalities of San Miguel and Oton.

 

“We might be able to produce some 20,000 cubic meters of water daily from those wells. That would be sufficient for the present connections which is around 40-50% percent of Metro Iloilo population. And MIWD won’t have to spend much on the transmission lines because these well are located near the pumping station,” Pichay said.

 

Treñas said he, Pichay and the MIWD board will meet with the mayors of Oton and San Miguel to thresh out issues on the national wealth tax and drying up of their towns’ water aquifers prompting them to bar the water utility from digging production wells.

 

LWUA will also send a technical team that will help detect leakages in MIWD pipelines in a bid to reduce non-revenue water (NRW). NRW is water lost to leakages and pilferages.

 

“They have instruments that can detect these leakages and it will be a long work because they will inspect every pipe,” Pichay said.

 

Pichay said the team and MIWD personnel will start working on the pipelines after Holy Week.

 

For the long term plan, LWUA will assist MIWD tap water from the Jalaur River to cope with the growing demand for water in the metropolis in the next 20 years.

 

A study will be conducted to determine whether MIWD will undertake the bulk water scheme or through private suppliers.

 

“Iloilo is a fast expanding metropolis. With the new international airport, many tourists and expatriates are coming here. Investors are also flocking here as I have seen in various developments here such as the call centers,” he added.

 

A LWUA technical person, who is in charge of Visayas, will also be sent to Iloilo and assist MIWD.

 

When asked if there will be changes in the MIWD management, Pichay said there will be no major shakeup in the water firm except for the sixth member of the MIWD board which is presently composed of Celso Javelosa as chairman and Engr. Adrian Moncada, Marissa Segovia, Danny Encarnacion and Dr. Sergio Gonzalez as members.

 

“The expert that we will deploy here will help the OIC-manager (Engr. Edgar Calasara) in implementing the short and long-term programs,” he added.

 

Treñas said the improvements will not result in higher water rates in MIWD’s service areas.

 

“If we plug the leaks, these will translate savings on the part of MIWD. They might even ask for a reduction of rates,” Treñas said.

 

Pichay said he will also ask electric cooperatives and power distributors adjust power rates charged on MIWD from industrial rates to either residential or government.

 

“We will ask for the rate adjustment for MIWD since it is considered a government corporation. It will redound to a lot of savings for MIWD,” he added.   

 

MIWD serves some 31,000 consumers in Iloilo City , and the towns of Oton, San Miguel, Pavia , Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, and Maasin with a total demand of 35,140 cubic meters per day.

 

A study of the sub-committee on water of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Western Visayas showed that MIWD produces 40,333 cubic meters of water. But its daily systems loss is pegged at 14,923 cubic meters or a daily shortfall of 9,730 cubic meters.

 

The daily shortfall is seen to reach 43,914 cubic meters by 2015, the RDC study said.

 

The bulk of MIWD’s water supply comes from the Tigum-Aganan River and the watershed in Maasin, some 30 kilometers north of Iloilo City.

 

The Iloilo City Council unanimously passed last March 4 a resolution declaring a water crisis in the metropolis. The resolution also called on the national government and other concerned agencies to immediately address the problem.

 

The resolution aims to fast track the implementation of MIWD projects and facilitate funding from local and international sources.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Local Water Utility Authority (LWUA) has no plans to arbitrarily take over the management of Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD), according to presidential adviser on water Lorenzo “Larry” Jamora.

 

Citing his conversation with LWUA chair Prospero “Butch” Pichay Tuesday last week, Jamora said the former may have been misquoted in earlier reports on the LWUA’s threat to manage MIWD because of the water supply shortage in Iloilo City.

 

Jamora told The Daily Guardian Monday evening that Pichay only suggested helping the water firm overcome its problems in terms of water supply and distribution.

 

“He (Pichay) said he was misquoted. Butch said he only offered LWUA’s assistance to MIWD if the management has difficulties solving the crisis,” Jamora said.

 

When asked if LWUA can take over MIWD because of the water supply shortage, Jamora said the problem is not unique to Iloilo City.

 

“There is water shortage in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and other urban centers. What we are suffering here is also happening in other areas. LWUA cannot arbitrarily take over MIWD because of supply shortage,” said Jamora who once headed LWUA.

 

Jamora said LWUA can only assume control of a water district if it fails to pay its loans to the said agency. The water district’s board must also ask LWUA to temporarily manage the firm if the need arises.

 

Jamora cited the case of Metro Roxas Water District (MRWD) which LWUA took over because of financial and operational woes.

 

“In that case, the water district’s board asked LWUA to step in. The takeover is supposed to take effect on a temporary basis but MRWD wants us to stay because of improved performance and political issues,” Jamora said.

 

Earlier, MIWD director Adrian Moncada said they will resist any attempt by LWUA to take over the water firm for lack of legal basis.

 

Moncada claimed the Iloilo City council may have been tricked to declare the metropolis under a state of water crisis which consequently gave rise to the takeover yarn.

 

The MIWD director said the original intent of the council’s declaration was to help expedite the projects of the water firm to improve its services.

 

Jamora said there is no need for LWUA to assume control of the management of MIWD “because I believe that the present crop of directors is aggressive in instituting reforms and projects that will improve the district’s services.”

 

“This is a working board of directors and they are brimming with ideas on how to improve MIWD’s operations. I suggested to the directors that they present a management plan to LWUA so the latter can extend whatever help the district will require,” Jamora said.

 

He added the new set of directors will strike a balance between conservatism and aggressiveness in MIWD’s improvement projects.

 

“Before, the board was conservative and deliberate in undertaking projects which resulted in savings and surpluses. I believe that the present board will use these funds to good use to improve services without burdening the consumers,” Jamora said.   

 

LWUA provides financial, technical, institutional development and regulatory services to local water utilities nationwide.

MIWD to resist LWUA takeover

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) will resist any attempt of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to take over the management of the water firm.

 

Engr. Adrian Moncada, MIWD director representing the professional sector, said LWUA has no legal basis for the reported takeover of the water utility which covers Iloilo City and several towns in Iloilo province.

 

Moncada said they were tricked when LWUA chair Prospero Pichay proposed that the Iloilo City Council declare a state of water crisis in the metropolis.

 

The council declaration, which was in the form of a resolution sponsored by Councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, was meant to expedite procurement processes for the bulk water supply and other improvement works mulled by MIWD.

 

Peñaredondo’s resolution was approved during the council’s regular session two weeks ago.

 

“But that declaration of water crisis later became the basis of Pichay’s statement that LWUA will take over MIWD management if water supply in the city does not improve within a month. That is not the real intent of the declaration,” Moncada said.

 

Moncada, who is also the vice president for commercial operations of Global Business Power Corp., said the planned takeover will not bode well for MIWD after LWUA managed the water firm years back because of unpaid loans.

 

“The first takeover was legally sound because of the loan issue. But at present, what’s the real basis? And MIWD employees had bad experiences about the first takeover,” he added.

 

As regards the P198-million fund of the MIWD, Moncada said some P25 million was used to repair their facilities damaged by typhoon Frank last year.

 

Another P27 million is being used for ongoing improvements and repairs of the distribution lines, the cost of which could increase as the projects continue.

 

“The money does not lay idle. It is being used to improve our services with the entry of new board members. We even formulated a five-year development plan which will encompass our supply and distribution services. The remaining amount is not even enough for our future projects,” Moncada added.

 

Moncada replaced Atty. Eduardo Aguillon who resigned from the MIWD board. The two other new board members are Dr. Danny Encarnacion who represents the academe and Dr. Sergio Gonzalez for the civic sector. The other MIWD directors are Marissa Segovia (women sector) and Celso Javelosa (business sector).

 

Representatives from LWUA will arrive today to meet the MIWD board to discuss the firm’s management and its actions and plans to solve the acute water shortage in Iloilo City.

 

Moncada said they can seek technical assistance from LWUA “but the management of the water district is the responsibility of the board.”

 

BULK WATER SUPPLY

 

The top priority of MIWD’s five year management plan is the adoption of the bulk water supply which is expected to be implemented early next year.

 

Moncada said they are looking at two modes of contracting bulk water from potential suppliers: bidding under Republic Act 9184 (Philippine Procurement Act) or joint venture with a supplier.

 

The MIWD director said there are three possible interconnection points in the water grid which bulk suppliers can tap – San Miguel municipality and Brgys. Ungka and Tabuc Suba in Jaro, Iloilo City.

 

“We are now formulating the terms of reference for the bidding to be participated by potential suppliers. This scheme will spare MIWD of spending for infrastructure projects for its supply lines. We will now concentrate on improving our distribution lines,” Moncada said.

 

Aside from the bulk water supply mode, the MIWD 5-year plan will also attempt to improve water quality, standard pressure, affordable rates, reduction of non-revenue water (water lost to pilferage and distribution wastage), collection efficiency and organizational performance.

 

MIWD is also determining potential customers in the market and the growth rate in the next five years to address the water crisis in the city.

 

The water firm is also looking into underground water supplies “but we are having problems with some local government units who are demanding a portion of our revenues in the form of the so-called national wealth tax,” Moncada said. 

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