October 17, 2019

Why increase the Price of Water?

Landscape Photography of Water Falls by Diana Dorčáková.

There is a reason why utility industry is regulated by the government; water for example is a life blood of the society. If you try to make this industry for profit and purely capitalistic (profit maximization oriented), private business interest might dominate the public interest. Private interest cannot mix with the public interest; private interest is for personal growth while public interest is for everyone’s good.

You see, if you are a leader of a private company, your goal is to make your company grow; the problem arises when you realize that your good is a public good. You realize that water is not owned by your company, it is a public wealth, and therefore you must not act as if you own this resource. You are the distributor of the water; you are not the owner of the water. If the private distributor of the water disregards the interest of the public, then the government must find a way to protect the public interest and the said public wealth (the water).

780% increase in the price of water is a public threat; a private entity exercising its power to the most valuable resource of the earth, saying to the public that I can increase the price of water whatever percentage because I will be fined by the Supreme Court (for almost 1 Billion Pesos) for not complying in the Clean Water Act, and therefore the public must shoulder the burden. Why are you so afraid of the income lost that will be brought by fine? Why can’t you own the responsibility of fixing the problem rather than throw it to the public? In the first place, why are you warning a water price increase in a country with so much supply of fresh water reserved(Philippines Renewable Internal Freshwater resources: 479 billion cubic meters; among top 20 worldwide. Source: 2014 World Bank Data)? Furthermore, you know that water is a public good, water is not for pure profit business; you must use economies of scale if you want to create right profit in this industry; you must expand your service and reach, increase efficiency by lowering the cost of distribution by investing in new technologies, rather than directly increasing the price to increase your profit. You are almost a monopoly, you have less competition; income should not be a problem to your company – then why would you result to price increase?

I hope that this private institution will not add-up to the economic problems of the society. Always remember, that you (water company) have a big part to play in ensuring the good welfare of the public. You are the distributor of one of the most valuable resource of our country; don’t betray your countrymen, just for your own good.

[In reaction to 780% water price increase warning]

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