Strategy, Sustainability and Risk
Climate change has significantly altered every aspect of the water space – a reality that nations continue to address along with challenges concerning increasing population and density in highly urbanized areas. Competition in the space has been redefined by those who have access to this limited resource; communities, in their pursuit for growth, demand more to the expense of the environment’s ability to replenish. This has created a vicious cycle of development being impeded by the lack or absence of water supply to support development. The challenge for governments and service providers is striking the delicate balance between the provision of sufficient water supply for economic growth and social development, and allowing the environment to naturally replenish the water sources to ensure sustainability. Such balance has highlighted the importance of proper wastewater treatment, which supports raw water supply replenishment in the environment.
Manila Water acknowledges the primary importance of water security, particularly during the onset of the water supply shortage in Metro Manila. The experience has underscored the key risks in relation to water security, and the company has taken measures to align its operations with the new realities it now faces. These measures support Manila Water’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Clean Water and Sanitation.
Manila Water continues to improve access to clean water and sanitation services across all its business units as a response to societal needs. In the Philippines, 90 percent1 of the rural population already has access to at least basic drinking water services. However, this lags behind the 98 percent access in urban areas. Meanwhile, in terms of sanitation, the country has yet to gain traction in significantly providing access to improved sanitation facilities. At the national level, only 52 percent of the population has access to safely managed sanitation facilities. Through the company’s wastewater and sanitation programs, the company directly contributes in narrowing these gaps.
...enhanced focus on improving service levels despite the challenges is grounded upon the company’s thrust towards creating exceptional customer experience.
OUTLOOK AND OPPORTUNITIES
Manila Water remains focused on its mission to provide sustainable solutions to its customers. The company continues to strengthen its key operating principles, even in the midst of adversity brought about by social, environmental and institutional challenges.
In response to the water supply shortage in the Manila Concession, the company exerted effort to further attain network efficiencies; the company’s business and technical teams learned to effectively provide water to its customers despite lower raw water supply allocation. Equally important is the provision of wastewater services. The company is committed to continue its expansion of sewer coverage while maintaining existing service levels of its sanitation services. This enhanced focus on improving service levels despite the challenges is grounded upon the company’s thrust towards creating exceptional customer experience. Over the next three years, water and wastewater projects in the Manila Concession are guided by the approved business plan laid out during the 2018 Rate Rebasing exercise. These projects position the concession towards achieving the service obligation targets in 2037.
Outside the Metro Manila, the different subsidiaries exerted efforts to standardize its key operating processes, with the Manila Concession as benchmark. Improvements in transitioning and integrating new businesses, such as introduction of relevant operating and financial systems aligned with Parent Company principles, are cascaded to business units across the enterprise and will likewise continue as the company pursues other projects.