Treñas calls for the Privatization of MIWD’s Water Distribution Operations

As a permanent and viable solution to Iloilo City’s water problem, the representative of Iloilo City filed a House Resolution calling for the privatization of the water distribution operations of the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD). Iloilo Rep Jerry Treñas is pushing to privatize the MIWD, which he said could ensure the efficiency and quality of the distribution of potable water within the franchise area of the water district.

In his House Resolution No. 1363, Treñas said that “countless of residents and businesses within the MIWD service area have expressed their frustration and anger over the inability of the MIWD to consistently provide water in their taps.” The Iloilo City solon also mentioned that the water distribution problem is the only stumbling block to the rapid economic growth of Metro Iloilo as “it compromises business operations and causes severe anxiety and hardships to the residents of Iloilo City and its adjoining municipalities.”

Treñas cited reports by studies conducted by the World Bank and USAID, as well as the policy findings of the Asian Development Bank, which find privatization of water utilities as a viable alternative that could greatly increase the efficiency of water delivery. He also mentioned that the MIWD could follow the lead of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), which privatized its water distribution operations. The MWSS privatization saved Metro Manila from a severe water crisis in the 1990s, as the expertise, financial resources and experience in the water industry of the private concessionaires greatly improved the water distribution system in Metro Manila.

He also filed an earlier House Resolution which led the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to hold a Congressional hearing and investigation in Iloilo City, which unearthed that the MIWD is in the red as it is facing a significant deficit in its cash flow.