‘WATER SECURITY IS OUR PRIORITY’: MPIW achieves major milestones since joint venture with MIWD

Metro Pacific Iloilo Water has laid 26 kilometers of water pipelines and will further expand and maintain the network, especially in the highest and most remote locations.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

Since embarking on a joint venture with the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD), Metro Pacific Iloilo Water (MPIW) has made significant progress in enhancing water supply and infrastructure across Iloilo City and neighboring areas.

The collaboration between the state-owned MIWD and MIWD under the Manny Pangilinan group has led to notable improvements in water security, service accessibility, and continuity for the region’s growing population.

MPIW serves not just Iloilo City but also the towns of Cabatuan, Maasin, Sta. Barbara, Leganes, Oton, and San Miguel.

Enhanced Water Supply

MPIW has ramped up its water supply to 80 million liters per day (MLD), surpassing the usual levels, following the replenishment of Maasin Dam due to recent rains.

However, MPIW stresses the urgency of developing new water sources to reduce dependency on Maasin Dam, which serves over 230,000 residents.

“Adding more water supply without first upgrading the existing water network system will only result in massive water losses,” MPIW said, emphasizing the importance of infrastructure development alongside aggressive water sourcing efforts.

The company remains open to partnerships with bulk water suppliers to ensure a steady and reasonably priced potable water supply.

PHP 8-B Service Improvement Plan

Recognizing the need for sustainable water solutions, MPIW has unveiled a PHP 8-billion service improvement plan for 2024-2028.

The initiative aims to address critical water issues through collaborative efforts with local government units and stakeholders. The plan focuses on water security, service accessibility, and continuity, ensuring that the growing customer base receives reliable and high-quality water services.

A significant component of this plan is the construction of a desalination plant, currently in the pre-development stage. Expected to be operational by 2026, the plant will add 50-65 MLD to Iloilo City’s water supply, providing much-needed redundancy to the existing bulk water system.

Water Security Initiatives

MPIW is also actively seeking and developing alternative water sources in collaboration with MIWD.

This includes engaging with nine bulk water companies to explore viable options, considering water rights, delivery timelines, pricing, and regulatory permits.

In the short term, MPIW is augmenting its supply through pipe rehabilitation and advanced leak detection technology, aiming to recover 15 MLD of water by the third quarter.

Expanding Service Accessibility and Continuity

As of May 2024, MPIW has expanded its service coverage to nearly 50,000 water connections, benefiting 230,000 residents across Iloilo City and seven nearby towns.

The company has also laid 26 kilometers of water pipelines and is committed to further expanding and maintaining the network, especially in the highest and most remote locations.

MPIW’s ongoing projects include the rehabilitation and improvement of existing infrastructure, extending pipelines to underserved areas, and implementing advanced network distribution technologies.

These efforts have significantly reduced non-revenue water losses from 59% in 2019 to 38% currently. Additionally, MPIW is investing PHP1 billion this year in major capital expenditure projects across Iloilo City Proper, Jaro, Lapaz, and Mandurriao Districts.

While 65% of MPIW’s customers experience 24-hour water availability, 75% of Iloilo City residents face intermittent supply issues due to their location at the far end of the network and high non-revenue water levels.

To address this, MPIW is focused on continuous improvement and resilience against natural calamities, ensuring uninterrupted service during typhoons and earthquakes through alternative sources and infrastructure retrofitting.

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