sustainability at manila water
For over two decades, Manila Water has provided access to safe, potable water and sanitation services. This is the core of the Enterprise that serves over 25 million people in the Philippines and key Asian markets, enhancing their sustainable development. The company has long been a champion of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Clean Water and Sanitation for All.
Manila Water is in a business that is fundamentally inclusive: providing water, a critical resource for social and economic development, for all communities wherever it operates. Manila Water believes that water is a basic human right, it delivers clean water and sanitation services that respond to the needs of customers from all walks of life.
The company recognizes that low-income customers face the brunt of limited access to water, constrained by social and economic realities. Driven by its core values, the company helps build communities through the Tubig Para sa Barangay program (Water for Communities, TPSB). This Manila Water social flagship program began in the Manila Concession and now reaches communities across the country who need clean water the most.
TPSB is a socialized water tariff program for families who once depended on expensive vended water from unreliable sources. Since it began in 1998, Manila Water has provided a total of 214,164 water service connections to low-income customers. Through the program, the company enables communities in improving their quality of life with the availability of clean water. TPSB also supports communities to be more resilient through improved water infrastructure that mitigates risks in cases of extreme weather and flooding. Manila Water brings this flagship program where the company further expands and grows.
The Manila Concession is compliant with the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW) with 3,897 water sample points for water treatment works, distribution network, and service reservoirs. Beyond the base business of the Manila Concession, the company provides reliable water supply in the industrial zone of Clark, the province of Pampanga, the island of Boracay, and the province of Laguna. The company also expanded its domestic reach to new areas north of Metro Manila, establishing operations in Bulacan and Calasiao.
The Manila Water technical excellence in water supply operations goes beyond the Manila Concession. The company now serves more people domestically and internationally through bulk water supply projects in Cebu City, Philippines and Vietnam. Manila Water, through Manila Water Asia Pacific, also established presence in key districts in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand this year, leveraging the company’s track record and technical excellence.
Through the provision of used water services, Manila Water demonstrates its commitment to environmental sustainability. Part of the company’s service obligation is to treat water used by its customers, and to discharge it back to the environment in a responsible manner. For customers not connected to sewer lines, Manila Water also offers sanitation services by way of regular septic tank desludging every five to seven years.
The company continues its focus on holistic water quality management. The respective water safety plans of the Manila Concession, Boracay Water, Clark Water, and Laguna Water are in effect, which also engage business partners in expanding safe and clean water access.
SAFE MAN HOURS
SAFEGUARDING OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
Manila Water is committed to strengthening the culture of safety among its employees, business partners, and the public. In 2018, the company was recognized for achieving 12.7 million safe man-hours without lost-time accident, as cited by the Safety Organization of the Philippines. This is a testament to the brand of Manila Water: “Safety Means I Care.” Operating with high standards and systems of workplace safety, Manila Water is certified according to OHSAS 18001 Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems, which is integrated to other management systems.
A Safety Committee comprised of key employees meet quarterly, and safety meetings with contractors are convened, by way of a monthly meeting of the Safety Officers Network among contractors. The company holds incident investigations for relevant occurrences among employees and contractors involved. Manila Water also conducts regular safety audits as part of the oversight procedures on projects and facilities, along with the implementation of a safety program specific to each project.
In the Manila Concession, the Health and Safety Committee is composed of one chairman, one secretary, four representatives from different corporate groups, one company physician, and two worker representatives. These key personnel comprise 22 percent of the committee.
REACHING MORE CUSTOMERS
As Manila Water reaches more customers and communities, both here and abroad, it brings the high-quality service that defines the company’s excellence in business and technical operations in the industry. Managers are wellequipped to receive and urgently respond to customer needs, and they conduct regular community visits called “walk-the-line.”
A designated hotline is available 24/7 for all Manila Water customers in the domestic market. This year, leveraging and upgrading technology, the company launched an online customer service platform, with designated social media managers responding to customer complaints and requests in real-time. Information about ongoing projects, and water service interruptions due to repairs, improvement, or upgrades, are announced through popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Manila Water also supports the line of communication among its customers. For all Business Areas, the company works neigborhood leaders or kasanggas to assist in the wider dissemination of project updates and urgent announcements such as water interruption or desludging service schedules.
STRENGTHENING BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Manila Water recognizes that its ability to provide reliable water services requires the company’s readiness in case of disasters and other extreme events. In the face of climate change (such as the phenomenon of longer rainy and dry seasons), the company implements mitigation strategies to minimize the potential impacts of adverse events on the business and its customers.
Manila Water has a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan that involves all employees, supply chain partners, critical utility allies, and local and national government agencies. Emergency preparedness procedures are set out to address critical incidents such as pipe breakages, massive power outages, typhoons bringing strong winds and floods, and earthquakes.
Manila Water also maintains a culture of disaster preparedness and response in the company’s head office and key facilities. In 2018, 1,600 emergency bags were distributed to employees in the Manila Concession business. Each “Go Bag” contains basic survival items in case of an earthquake or other natural calamity which would necessitate transfer to an evacuation center for a prolonged period.
The company conducts regular emergency drills in case of adverse events and natural calamities throughout the year. These operations institute a call-tree telephone procedure in the event of a major disaster, in order to gather information about each employee’s whereabouts, safety, and wellbeing. When necessary, rescue or assistance is immediately provided.
ENSURING PRODUCT SAFETY
As Manila Water responds to the needs of more customers, the company opens up to new market segments that create value and respond to growing demand for drinking water that suits their preference or lifestyle. In 2015, Manila Water Total Solutions (MWTS) launched the Healthy Family brand that complements the company’s business commitment to provide clean water for all customers.
Healthy Family provides potable water for customers who have water reticulation concerns in their households or require purified drinking water on-the-go. The product is packaged in five-gallon and 500-ml bottles. The 500-ml bottle is sufficiently labeled with information about its source, content, and reminders for proper disposal. In providing this high-quality purified water, the company uses a fully-automated “closed-loop” production system with technology that requires less human intervention to prevent contamination. Full-time microbiologists analyze samples daily at an in-house laboratory compliant with international standards.
Through this platform, Manila Water uses advanced production and bottling technology in addressing this specific market demand for clean drinking water. Healthy Family is compliant with the regulatory requirements of the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.