Over 400,000 indigent households in the West Zone now enjoy potable and affordable water straight from their faucets after becoming beneficiaries of Maynilad’s various “water for the poor” programs.
The number marks a significant increase from the 110,000 beneficiary households in January 2007, when Maynilad was re-privatized under new owners.
Maynilad, the private water concessionaire for the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, has been organizing residents of urban poor communities into cooperatives that will oversee water systems that the company installed to answer the need for affordable drinking water in their respective areas.
Before such communities were connected to Maynilad’s water network, residents either had to walk long distances to fetch water from shallow wells, or depend on water pilfering syndicates that sold undrinkable water for P40 per drum or higher. Now, under Maynilad’s subsidized rates, poor communities only spend around P2.61 per drum.
“Getting connected to Maynilad’s network was a huge relief for us. We no longer have to spend as much for water, unlike before when we paid vendors to deliver water via trucks, and we were not even certain if the vended water was clean,” said Josie Nilo, resident of Riverview in Quezon City.
Maynilad also offers a flexible, long-term payment scheme for water service applications to provide low-income families with access to potable water.
The extension of Maynilad’s Concession Agreement with the government to 2037 enabled the company to increase investments for water infrastructure that also benefit these poor communities. It also reduced tariff increases despite the massive investments, thus keeping Maynilad’s water and sewerage services affordable for all consumers.
Lydia Codiñera, head of an urban poor community in Tondo that was given access to affordable water from Maynilad, expressed concern that suspending the Concession Agreement may prevent Maynilad from helping other communities similar to theirs. “It is sad that many people do not appreciate the positive impact of Maynilad’s services. We hope that Maynilad can continue to help more people like us.”