City government of Calapan fights ‘astronomical’ hike on water rates

POSTED: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

CALAPAN CITY – The City Government of Calapan has asked the water utility company that serves here to stop the “astronomical increase” in water rates claiming this is “unreasonable, punitive and burdensome” to consuming public in this city.

In a letter sent to Calapan Waterworks Corporation (CWC), Calapan City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan pointed out the said increase should not be effected immediately because this (the increase) was approved by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) without hearing the side of the consumers.

And for this, water users in the whole Calapan complain their water bills have more than doubled since October last year.

Panaligan vowed his city administration will explore all possible legal remedies “in order to protect the welfare of our people.”

Based on records, water rates here have increased from P900 per month to almost P2,000 per month since last year.  The NWRB claimed the new rates were approved because “there was no oppositor on record to this case.”

The increase was implemented amid complaints of poor service such as low water pressure and failure of the CWC to provide “round-the-clock” service.  Some areas in this city still have no water connection despite the said company’s getting the sole franchise from the government of distributing water in Calapan.

However, Jolly L. Ting, chairman CWC owner Calapan Ventures, Inc. (CVI), explained the increase in their water rates passed through the legal process and denied it was arbitrary because the company also took into consideration the interest of the people Calapan.

He admitted lack of high-water pressure and 24-hour service in certain areas but the CWC was in the process of improving its services, which was the basis for its application for rate increase.

“From 26 barangays we’re now serving 32 barangays, which corresponds to an additional 3,516 families who are now enjoying clear and potable water from the taps,” Ting also noted.

For his part, Panaligan stated that while the city government acknowledges that CWC is a profit-oriented company and water being a basic necessity, it is appealing for the company management to “humanely” consider lowering their tariff in water. (By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY )

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