2020 Integrated Report


Sustainability at Manila Water

Investing in People

GRI: 102-7, 401-1, 404-2, 405-1, 406-1, 407-1

Manila Water regards each employee as an important resource and partner in creating lasting value. Developing and investing in its workforce, the Company’s primary stakeholders, is at the very heart of sustainability in the Company. Without a critical mass of empowered employees, it is not possible to sustain the high quality of service and ensure continuous corporate growth. A strong pool of competent talents must possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and attributes unique to a water utility. The Company has instituted programs to continuously upskill its leaders and individual contributors to be the best in their respective disciplines, through training and actual practice, employing coaching and mentorship as a vital approach in propagating institutional expertise and memory.

Considering the disruptions in people’s lives brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the health and safety protocols developed to prevent the spread of the virus, particular attention was also given by the Company to its employees' well-being, especially on mental health. This Integrated Report has a Special Report on the Company’s COVID-19 response.


GRI: 405-1


GRI: 404-1, 404-2

In the aftermath of the 2019 water crisis and despite the ongoing pandemic, Manila Water continues to implement its roadmap for core, leadership, and technical capability development. It is now a topmost priority to empower employees with knowledge and skills needed to adapt to the 'new normal.' The Company also believes that effective leadership is critical for employees to excellently perform their roles with the highest degree of integrity and competence, aligned with its aspiration to regain and sustain stakeholder trust.

Manila Water provides its talents access to various learning and development opportunities consisting of in-house and external trainings and accelerated development programs under the Manila Water University. In 2020, 77 percent of the total number of employees were trained, clocking at 37,049 training hours across the enterprise.

Manila Water University, the Company's corporate learning institution, provides a wide range of training and development courses that can be self-directed or conducted by a live instructor. The university programs are all competencybased, aimed at developing talents by enhancing their leadership, technical, and functional skills, in preparation for future critical roles. Furthermore, technical and leadership skills are learned within the virtual four walls of a classroom (or an online learning platform) and through close mentoring of leaders who oversee the implementation of stretched assignments.

The new work arrangements prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the push for online learning. Percipio, an online learning platform that allowed Manila Water talents to access around 3,023 courses via their laptops or mobile devices at any time convenient to them, has provided a wealth of learning opportunities even beyond their current set of required competencies. The ease of access to learning modules and courses against the pandemic's backdrop resulted in many employees trained and engaged. In 2020, 948 employees took advantage of online learning modules, compared to only an average of 200 employees in prior years.

The Company continued implementing the Cadetship Training Program, with its 27th batch graduating in early 2021. This six-month program provides eligible fresh graduates with opportunities for specialized training and work immersion experience, expanding business and technological competencies. Cadets attended online training programs and face-to-face immersion, complying with the Company’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Technical School, also known as the Manila Water Institute of Technology (MIT) was launched in 2020, commencing with the identification of subject matter experts within in the organization who developed and piloted modules on Water Supply, Wastewater, and Water Quality.

All modules were tailor-fitted to capacitate employees occupying various levels of technical roles. In the same year, identified priority modules in technical development were designed and piloted with 91 percent of the total target participants trained. Tech for Non-Tech modules (a.k.a. ‘101’ courses) were also developed for non-technical talents to appreciate the technical aspects of water utility operations. Delivery of the developed modules to a broader audience is planned in 2021, and the development of more high-level, scenario-specific modules are envisioned to further develop talents within the Manila Water enterprise.


GRI: 401-1

1. Formula = Total Turnover: Current Year/Average of Total Turnover of Current Year and Previous Year



GRI: 404-1, 404-2, 405-1


Gender Actual
Training Hours
Training Hours
Male 21,521 14.33
Female 15,528 19.19
Total 37,049


Employee Category Actual
Training Hours
Training Hours
Senior Management 3,517 19.11
Middle Management 29,983 19.76
Rank-and-File 3,549 5.82


Types Number of Trainings
Technical/Functional/CPD 5,317
School 5
Leadership 401
Legal/Mandatory/Safety 53
Conferences/Symposiums 30
Onboarding Orientation 17
Total No. of Trainings 5,823


Employee Safety ECQ/GCQ Services

  • Rapid Testing (4,205 headcount as of July 3, 2020)
  • Work from Home for high-risk employees
  • Shuttle Services
  • PPE, Masks, Alcohol, and Vitamins Provisions
  • Wellness monitoring and Teleconsult
  • HR Employee Care Calls
  • Employee Safety Apps: Call Tree, SARA, SAMA
  • On-site Shelter for critical workforce

Workplace Safety

  • Creation of Re-entry Task Force Committee
  • Rotational Remote Work Arrangement (Approx. 65 percent on-site workforce every week)
  • Physical Distancing in seat arrangement (1.5 to 2ft between seats. 6ft Radius
  • Workplace Safety Protocols
  • Regular Workplace Disinfection
  • Infectious Disease Policy

Total Wellness

  • Online Talks and Bulletins
    • Mental Health
    • Financial Wellness
  • Online Counseling Referral Program
  • “Mahalaga Ka” Wellbeing Survey and Quick Interventions
  • MMWO Professional Friend Program (35 Volunteers)

Communications & Employee Engagement Activities

  • Communication campaign - WOW; 3Cs; etc.
  • Employee Toolkit (Re-entry Play book for MWC)
  • Employee Briefings and Regular Town halls
  • Balita on Wednesday (BOW)
  • Daily COVID-19 Bulletins
  • Online Themed Events (e.g Anniversary, Halloween, Christmas)
  • Online Staging of Corporate Recognition



In 2020, Manila Water faced an unprecedented challenge that threatened employees' well-being and continued productivity. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal course of things and challenged the plans set for the year and forced the Company to re-think and re-strategize execution without sacrificing employee safety and well-being.

Employee health and safety was identified as a top priority when the Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced in March 2020. To help mitigate the coronavirus’ spread among the workforce, Manila Water came up with programs, policies, guidelines and activities under four focus areas: employee safety, workplace safety, total wellness, and communications and employee engagement activities.


Employee Safety

Workplace Safety

Total Wellness

Communications & Employee
Engagement Activities


In a mid-year survey answered by employees related to Manila Water’s efforts during Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the Company received a High Satisfactory rate of 3.58 out of 4 (94.5%) on their overall experience. The employees responded with the Company’s re-entry efforts positively, resulting to a High Satisfactory rate of 3.54 out 4 (93.5%) An overwhelming number of employees also shared in the survey that they appreciated the Company’s response during the pandemic on the following:

  • Employee communication
  • Work arrangements
  • Employee guidelines and toolkits
  • Workplace protocols

Apart from safety-related initiatives, programs to ensure overall employee well-being were also undertaken. Mental health was one of the focus areas as it was an emerging concern of the employees who had to adapt to a new work set-up. To this end, the Company implemented two major initiatives – Employee Care Calls and Mental Wellness Counselling to ensure employees' well-being. Employees reached out to fellow employees to check on their well-being and assess if internal or external support related to health or work was needed and resulted in an open line of communication between HR and employees.

Counseling Referral and Professional Friend Volunteer Program

  • Implemented as an avenue where employees can reach out to trained professionals whenever employees feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or isolated.

Total Wellness Talks and Bulletins

  • To reinforce self-help
  • Increase awareness.

Mahalaga Ka! Survey

  • To measure overall employee experience
  • Launched to measure the talent’s level of satisfaction in 3 areas of Digital Employee Experience:
  • Remote Experience,
  • Wellness, and
  • Resilience.



GRI: 407-1

Manila Water values its employees' rights to participate in the formulation and review of policies concerning the rights and welfare of the workforce. The Company supports the employees' freedom of association and complies with the existing laws in this regard. In 2020, 12.60 percent of the East Zone Concession employees were covered by the latest collective bargaining agreement signed on 23 November 2018.