Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered the creation of a technical working group that will study a possible subsidy of the local government to Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD).
“I directed that a technical working group be created so that we will be able to look at the figures and see how the city government will subsidize the water district,” the local chief executive said.
The planned subsidy aims to lessen the impact of the water rate hike set for April billing.
Climaco said that ZCWD must also come up with a rehabilitation plan mapping their future directions and outlining measures to prevent bankruptcy.
The mayor has consistently opposed any water rate hikes, citing the difficulties and challenges faced by many residents under the present climate of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I have always been against any water rate increases because now is not the time as we try to face the pandemic and people have lost their jobs,” she said.
Despite opposition from the local government, the ZCWD announced that the new minimum water rate of P210.00, or a P25.00 water rate adjustment from the current P185.00 minimum charge, will take effect on the April billing cycle this year.
The P25.00 rate adjustment was granted by Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) last October 2020 pursuant to LWUA’s policies, rules, and regulations to allow the district to sustain its operations and maintenance expenses with due consideration of current economic conditions in the city.