Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Water, water every where but not a drop to drink, because the fact is water is either dirty or too expensive. Only those with no choice have the courage to drink the water supply of the San Pablo Water District. Many maintain water dispensers and buy purified water despite the high cost. Now San Pablo Water District again in defiance of logic increased the cost of water. Take note that the water district increased its cost of water over the fact that it is earning profits to the tune of 9% return of investment .

According to its management there are many big and expensive projects that need to be financed and water district cannot afford it with its own savings. Among the projects is the tapping of a spring from Dolores, Quezon. The Water District will help rehabilitate the water system of Dolores, Quezon to the tune of 16 or 18 million pesos just to be allowed to utilize its spring for San Pablo City. Is that not too expensive a deal?

SPC water District will help rehabilitate other water system but it is their own admission that there are many distribution lines of the San Pablo Water District that badly need rehabilitation too. These lines are more than twenty years causing much system losses. Why not fix these and make their operations more efficient? There are still places served by the district suffering water shortages which the losses from these old pipes may fill in. For all we know the volume of water from Dolores spring could only be as big as the losses from the old pipes. Why then spend tens of millions for aid to get the spring.

Taking the spring from Dolores will help improve the supply of water of San Pablo City. Will that not be similar to tens of millions of pesos spent from useless deep wells dug up now are not only white elephants but totally useless expenditures of peoples money lying idle for nothing?

Water District intends, according to them to expand the operations extending to some 10 more Barangays as another justification for the increase of water rate. Why expand its operation when the present concessionaires could not yet be efficiently served? Why expand operation if it cannot afford to undertake it? This is another unsound policy defying any elementary business management or public service concept. The water district would like the present concessionaires to shoulder the cost of an ambitious project which could only be done by an institution enjoying monopoly. Had there been other water provider people would for sure cut their connections and avail of other services.

Any expansion needs capital outlay. Capital must come from the institution doing business by either putting up additional money or securing loans, other floats interest bearing bonds. By increasing the cost of its services sold to concessionaires to build up or generate new capital makes the concessionaires investors entitled to share the profit from operations. But no, that is not the concept. The water district simply increased the cost of water even if it is earning handsome profits because it wanted to earn more. The hell whether people suffer. Anyway people are used to it. The increase was already approved. Probably the management will say if you do not like the increase have your water connections cut just like before or blame the previous administration for the bungling. (SANDY BELARMINO)

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