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Cebu bizmen oppose proposed water hike

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has strongly opposed the proposed water price hike of Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

”Being the voice of the business community of Cebu and yet taking on interests of public welfare, CCCI believes that the proposed price increase of PHP300 for every 10 cubic meters of water is glaring, exorbitant and preposterous,” CCCI president Felix Taguiam said in a media statement.

The CCCI urged Cebu’s biggest water distributor to reconsider the adoption of the proposed water price hike.

“At a time when the country and the Cebuanos are reeling from one of the worst pandemic-induced recessions, a price increase on indisputably the most important commodity on earth – water, is insensitive, imprudent, unconscionable and irresponsible,” Taguiam said.

The proposed price increase of PHP300 for every 10 cubic meters of water is glaring, exorbitant and preposterous and even if backed up by plans to invest in desalination, he said.

“For those who are already struggling to pay their electricity and water bills or the newly unemployed, even a modest increase in household bills can be problematic and would only be an added burden. Now more than ever, access to affordable water supply is critical to the everyday living of families in Cebu,” Taguiam said.

He said that it is also equally important to remember public welfare as the ultimate aim of basic service delivery which underscores the water industry.

“Ultimately, ill-conceived and ill-timed decisions and actions on water supply prices will invariably affect the financial security of the most vulnerable sectors of the community which are aggravating and can lead to unrest during these uncertain times,” he added.

Last month, MCWD had warned consumers that they should expect a rate increase of PHP70 to PHP120 per 10 cubic meters of water as soon as it begins to supply desalinated water from three privately owned desalination plants that will be built soon.

This means that from the current rate of PHP180 per 10 cubic meters, Cebu’s water rates could go up to as much as PHP300 for every 10 cubic meters of water.

MCWD targets to supply consumers with desalinated water as part of its long-term solution to address Metro Cebu’s water shortage.