MNWD awaits LWUA’s nod on consumer-approved rate increase
By Paulo DS. Papa
THE proposed 39.25 percent water rate increase endorsed by the Metropolitan Naga Water District is still subject for final approval of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) said Florencio Mongoso Jr., MNWD acting general manager.
Mongoso said that the proposed rate increase in monthly bills is the sum of the 28 percent rate increase for 2023 and 11.25 percent for 2024. The figures were presented to MNWD concessionaires in a series of public hearing during which the proposal was approved.
The public hearings were conducted on January 13, this year, in Gainza town; January 16 in Naga City and the towns of Canaman and Magarao and on January 17 in Camaligan.
Mongoso said that LWUA allows the water district to adopt increase in its water charges up to 40 percent, he, however, said that the final decision on the matter will depend on the approval of the MNWD board. He added that LWUA has the authority to officially approve the increase one at a time or by multiyear period as recommended by the MNWD.
It should be recalled, before the conduct of public hearings, Mongoso has informed the public thru media interviews that the increase is needed to acquire funds that will be spent to the construction of four additional water pumping stations this year and another four for the next year.
He further said that more funds are needed to be able the MNWD to install new and expansive water transmission and distribution lines to replace the old ones.
Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has not yet appointed a full-fledged LWUA administrator. Mongoso admitted that the situation will complicate the MNWD plan on new water rate.
Mongoso said that a LWUA officer-in-charge is not authorized to sign any document with regard to water rate increase.