The Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD) will begin collecting a P2 per cubic meter septage charge this January as part of the septage and sewerage management program (SSMP), which will result in a “modest” rise in monthly water bills for city residents.
The water district made the announcement Friday in a post, stating that the collection is in line with the program’s implementation that started in November 2021.
The septage and sewage management program is implemented by the Puerto Princesa Water Reclamation and Learning Center (PPWRLC) under Republic Act 9275, or The Philippine Clean Water Act, and City Ordinance No. 737, also known as the “The Septage Management Program in Puerto Princesa City.”
PPCWD information officer Jenn Rausa, in a separate interview, told Palawan News that the program will cover all residential consumers and commercial establishments without water treatment facilities.
The septage cost is P2 per cubic meter of water consumed on a monthly basis. This means 10 cubic meters of water utilized will be multiplied by P2 and result in a P20.00 septage rate.
“The implementation ng septage program na ito ang mag-e-ensure na napapatupad natin dito sa lungsod ‘yong RA 9275, with that, mas nasisiguro natin na malinis yong ating environment, particulary water bodies natin and groundwater resources,” Rausa said.
“Before kasi wala tayong sariling program na nagbibigay ng desludging services sa city, sa private lang meron, ngayon tayong consumers ng PPCWD ay ma-e-ensure na makaka-avail ng septic tank desludging. Para sa atin din ‘yon kasi ‘di ba parte naman ng pag-observe natin sa proper sanitation and hygiene ito. Plus, ‘yong collection ng bayad sa service, hindi natin ico-collect ng isang bagsakan. Monthly ang charging nito so hindi mabigat sa consumers natin,” she added.
On August 2, the PPCWD signed a tripartite agreement for septage fee collection with the PPWRLC and the city government of Puerto Princesa. The project’s collecting agency is the city water district.
The city government opened a P240 million sewerage and septage treatment facility on the baywalk in December, with the goal of reducing water pollution by treating wastewater before it is dumped into the sea.
The facility was built on 2,000 square meters of reclaimed land. After the joint venture agreement in 2018, the city government shared P25 million of the overall project cost, while the remaining P215 million was split between Ecosystem Technologies International, Inc. (ESTII) and JCA 1221 Holdings Inc.
As part of the scheme, a consumer may obtain a one-time desludging treatment every five years, according to Rausa. The PPWRLC will provide a desludging schedule based on the zones it has identified.
“In case na kailangan niyo magpa-desludge more than once sa loob ng five years, saka mo lang babayaran ‘yong market value,” she said.
The PPWRLC began providing desludging services in December and invites residents to work with their barangay officials to obtain a form. Consumers must fill it out in order to be included in the desludging service schedule.
It first posted a schedule for Barangay Model on December 16 and recommended other barangays to check their official Facebook page for schedule updates.