The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided EUR 60 million to Manila Water for the expansion and improvement of water source and water distribution projects.
Positive social and environmental effects will result from the project. The improved water supply service in the East Zone of Manila will enhance the quality of life and reduce the health risks stemming from water-borne diseases, by including people living in areas not yet or not properly served.
Overall, the project will provide access to safe water to a population of more than 600 000 people (approximately 100 000 households) that currently get their water from a combination of private wells, vendors and the purchase of bottled water. The investment will lead to increased consumption of safer water and to the reduction of the average expenditure on water as a share of household income.
Part of the extension of the coverage of water services focuses on deprived communities through “Water for the Poor Communities” projects and will allow families to share costs and benefit from much lower tariffs. Manila Water estimates that about 1.2 million people have benefited so far from this programme. The investment financed by the EIB will provide, for the first time, safe water services to at least 350 000 additional customers from these communities, thus further contributing to the water Millennium Development Goals in the Philippines.
Environmental benefits will come from more efficient management of the existing water resources, particularly through upgrading and extension of the existing facilities and the reduction of water losses.
The EIB supports a number of works included in Manila Water’s investment programme for the period 2007-2010 by making available long-term financing (10 years), which is difficult to obtain on the local financial market, at attractive rates of interest.
The East Zone of Manila comprises the cities of Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, Taguig, most parts of Quezon City, some parts of Manila, and the municipality of Pateros as well as cities and municipalities in the Rizal province, further east of Metro Manila.
The works to improve reliability and efficiency, reduce water losses and expand service coverage include the following: upgrading of water supply facilities; improvement of reliability and efficiency of pumping stations; improvement of reliability, efficiency, safety and security of water treatment plants that supply the overall Manila Water system; improvement of the performance of the distribution with reduction of water losses in primary mains, better operational control of the systems and reduction of water losses in the network; establishment of demand monitoring zones, replacement of pipes and meters, installation of pressure regulating valves, surveying of the network; and expansion of the distribution network to unserved areas of the East Zone.
Manila Water is a domestic publicly listed company that operates a water concession in the eastern side of Metro Manila, Philippines. Its major shareholders include one of the region’s top conglomerates, Ayala Corporation; United Utilities Pacific Holdings BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK’s United Utilities plc (UU); Mitsubishi Corporation; and the World Bank’s private investment arm, the International Finance Corporation. For the past 10 years, Manila Water has managed to significantly improve the water services to more than 5.4 million customers in the East Zone of Metro Manila.
United Utilities Pacific Holdings BV, which owns almost 12% of Manila Water, is wholly owned and controlled by UU, the UK’s leading multi-utility operator engaged in water and wastewater services, electricity distribution, telecommunications, and contract asset management. UU has a long-standing relationship with Manila Water, both in terms of management support and an equity stake.