Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said she will ask the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) to forgo its proposed water rates increase.
“We have to look into the books of the ZCWD and utilize existing funds from loans. Before we increase the rates, we have to provide better service to them, it’s just as simple as that, by looking at an area where to improve,” Salazar said.
Salazar said Tuesday she will be studying the possibility of asking the ZCWD to look for other ways to address the firm’s funding need for development projects.
The ZCWD seeks to increase by PHP93 to PHP278 from its current minimum rate of PHP185.
ZCWD said its water rate hike aims to finance its lined up projects amounting to PHP5.34 billion.
The projects include a non-revenue water reduction program, PHP377 million; water services expansion program, PHP1.8 billion; water source augmentation and improvement program, PHP2.17 billion; facilities improvement and modernization program, PHP718 million; and sewerage and sanitation service improvement and expansion program, PHP275 million.
Salazar also shared the idea of digitalizing ZCWD’s operations to solve the problem of non-revenue water due to leakages.
Engr. Marli Acosta-De Fiesta, ZCWD Engineering, and Construction Department head, said they respect the mayor’s stand on the issue.
De Fiesta said the ZCWD management will schedule another meeting with the mayor to clarify matters pertaining to the rate increase. (PNA)