Boracay’s exorbitant water rate hike, highway robbery at the beach – solon

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SENATORIAL candidate Teddy Casiño today scored Manila Water and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for conniving to increase water and wastewater rates in Boracay for their own interests.

The party-list solon questioned TIEZA’s motives for reportedly approving the outrageous 35% rate hike even if it is staggered when the agency itself has a 20-percent controlling state in the Manila Water-subsidiary Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC).

“Obviously, they are doing this to increase their revenues, at the expense of both residents and businesses in the island,” said the three-term Bayan Muna representative.

Casiño cited local Councilor Rowen Aguirre who told media that they had initially agreed to BIWC’s high rates when they first started out to improve the quality of service in the island. At the same time, they were assured that the rates would go down as the number of subscribers increased.

“Now they are milking Boracay Island which is said to have one of the highest water service rates in the country. Madali nga naman kung sila na nga ang may-ari, sila pa ang taga-approve ng service rates,” said Casiño. “The Malay municipal government and Nabaoy River, the main water source in the island, are also said to be not benefiting from the profits of TIEZA at Manila Water,” he said.

The Makabayan senatorial candidate emphasized that the increase is a hard blow to the residents and the businesses that are struggling to keep Boracay a world-class tourist spot. “Maski hati-hatiin ang pagtaas na ito e mabigat pa din. Paano na lang ang mga residente, mga kooperatiba at mga maliliit na negosyo na kahit papano ay napapanatiling abot-kaya ang Boracay para sa mga lokal na turista?”

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