It is possible that there will be movement in the water bill next year due to the weakening of the value of the peso against the US dollar, according to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).
This Wednesday, Chief Regulator Patrick Lester Ty said that next year’s rebasing would include the peso’s weakening.
“That will have an effect in the rates this coming January 1, 2023, so yes, it will have an effect,” he told reporters in the virtual briefing.
“It will have an effect definitely, but we will try our best to minimize or at least spread this increase through the next five years, so that is our plan so that our consumers will not be surprised,” he added.
This Wednesday, the peso exchange rate against the dollar reached P59.02:$1 at the start of market trading. However, before the final close, the peso recovered slightly and peaked at P58.98:$1.
Because of this, the several-day streak of the all-time low of the peso that closed at P58.99:$1 this Tuesday was broken.
In November 2021, the MWSS approved the removal of the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA) in Manila Water Company Inc.’s customer billing. and Maynilad Water Service Inc., and made it a “transitory adjustment.”
MWSS: Water bill in 2023 affected by the weakening peso
The FCDA tariff mechanism is reviewed every three months to allow concessionaires to recover losses due to the movement of foreign exchange rates.
Concessionaires pay dollars to their borrowers to finance their expansions and other operating expenses.
“What we are doing right now, since there’s a revised concession agreement (RCA) that’s coming up, once that RCA is effective, then there will be no more FCDA,” said Ty.
“Sinama na namin sa rate rebasing para hindi na po every quarter nag-a-adjust ngayon at hinihintay na lang nating matapos ang rate rebasing,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Office of the Press Secretary Ttrixie Cruz-Angeles said that even though the peso’s weakening was not discussed in the 9th Cabinet meeting, Marcos is closely monitoring it.
“But, it is a matter for the President, which the President closely monitors on a regular basis,” she added.