MIWD TRANSFORMS: Joint venture firm to distribute water

ILOILO City – Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) will turn over its water distribution system to private corporation Metro Pacific Iloilo Water, Inc. (MIW) next month. MIW is a joint venture between MIWD and Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp. (MetroPac).

MIW would be handling the water meter reading, the computation and delivery of water bills and their collection, said Engr. Arnold Laurente, chairperson of MIWD’s Joint Venture Selection Committee and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program Committee.

“If there are complaints about your water connection, you no longer call MIWD but the service operator which is Metro Pacific Iloilo Water,” said Laurente.

The tentative period of turnover is the first week of June.

MIWD entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with MetroPac in 2013. The JVA called for the rehabilitation, replacement, upgrading, operation, maintenance, and expansion of MIWD’s existing water production and distribution network to improve the delivery of treated water within its service area, reduce the volume of non-revenue water (losses) from 50 percent to 35 percent, and upgrade the billing and collection system.

Aside from operating and maintaining the water system, MIW will also be entertaining applications for new service connections in the service area of the water district – this city and the nearby municipalities of Pavia, Leganes, Santa Barbara, Oton, San Miguel, Cabatuan, and Maasin in Iloilo province.

In line with this transfer of water distribution system, MIWD consumers are required to accomplish new water service contracts with MIW.

Laurente said they were targeting at least 50 percent of active MIWD service connections to fulfill this before the turnover.

So far, he said, “25 to 30 percent” of 40,000 connections already accomplished new water service contracts.

Amarylis Josephine Castro, MIWD’s Finance Department manager, said 20 percent of MIW is owned by MIWD while 80 percent is MetroPac’s.

She, however, stressed that MIWD has a “guaranteed protection” and a seat in the MIW board.

“Major decisions must have the conformity of the water district like water rates. Indi basta-basta makapasaka. It must have the approval of the water district then ipasaka pa ina sa Local Water Utilities Adminstration,” said Castro

MIWD will also serve as monitoring agency of MIW’s performance./PN


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