By NITZ ARANCON
THE Metro Cagayan de Oro Water Service Cooperative sees its selling price of water at P15 to P18 per cubic meter, said Regional Cooperative Council chairman Manny dela Peña yesterday.
Dela Peña said this even as he frowned over how much the Cagayan de Oro Water District has been charging consumers in the city.
He said COWD’s selling price is over P21 per cubic meter or about twice as much compared to what it paid the previous bulk water supplier, Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc., for about a decade.
Rio Verde had sold treated water to COWD for P10.45 per cubic meter for years until last month. The new bulk water supplier, Cagayan de Oro Bulkwater Inc., now sells it for P16 per cubic meter but COWD absorbed the additional cost.
Still, dela Peña said, the COWD’s selling price is “too much”, the reason why cooperatives agreed to pool their resources into one bigger cooperative with the aim of competing with the water district.
He said a feasibility study has been made and it showed that the planned “water cooperative” can sell water for P15 to 18 per cubic meter or much lower that COWD’s over P21 price.
Dela Peña said the cooperative, based on the study, could produce and treat water for P7 to P8 per cubic meter, and then sell it for P15 to P18.
“You can just imagine… ang tubig nga gikan sa Rio Verde, gipalit sa COWD sa tag P10.45 per cubic meter, apan ila kining gibaligya kanatong mga consumers sa tag P21.68 per cubic meter. Mahal ra kaayo,” dela Peña said.
He said COWD would likely seek an increase in water rates in the city as a result of its joint venture agreement with the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned Metro Pacific Water Investments Corp. The agreement led to the formation of a new company, Cagayan de Oro Bulkwater Inc. that is now supplying bulk water to COWD.
Dela Peña said COWD would likely seek an increase sooner or later given that its buying price has shot up from P10.45 to P16 per cubic meters this year.
Engr. Bienvenido Batar Jr., COWD assistant general manager, said COWD has managed to keep the price of treated water in the city relatively low contrary to criticisms. He said a comparison of the water rates here and in other highly urbanized cities in the country would show that.
COWD’s minimum monthly charge for residential consumers is P218.40 for a consumption of 10 cubic meters per month.
“Mahulog kini nga tag P21.84 per cubic meter alang niadtong nagkonsumo lamang sa minimum nga 10 cubic meters per month,” Batar said.
Beyond 10 cubic meters, residential consumers are billed P30.55 for every additional cubic meter.
Batar reiterated that COWD has no plans of seeking an increase in water rates at this time as a result of Cobi’s price of P16 per cubic meter.
“Kaya pa gihapon kana, dili pa alkansi. Mao nang wala na ta mangayo ug increase sa water rate sa pagka karon,” he said.