[wpcol_1half]2012 was a relentless pursuit of our Water Security Legacy Plan. While our core business remains in the assurance of continuous supply of safe and reasonably-priced water and the development and maintenance of adequate sewerage service, the reality of Climate Change has challenged our organization to see this role through a whole new lens and level.
The delivery of water goes beyond the pipes laid by our concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad, in neighborhood roads to reach each household. That these pipes connect to 9,600 meters of secondary lines and 550 meters of mainlines that stem from filtration plants, which in turn are connected to 6,260 meters of three meter-wide aqueducts beneath Metro Manila’s highways and road networks is unknown to many. Furthermore, these decades-old aqueducts, spout from a re-regulation-reservoir dam that receives water from the 45-year old Angat dam in Bulacan.
This network of flows and interconnectivity represent an untold system of development, management and protection now needing radical review. In all of these, the underlying imperative today is to develop the sense of urgency to propel immediate action towards mitigating the effects of Climate Change and sustainably providing water for the future.
In more concrete terms, the challenge to MWSS lies in a solutions orientation and a step up, in both pace and intensity, not just of our infrastructure development, but also in the simultaneous activities of our networks activation and our stakeholder management. Proactively working with government partners, private companies, including our concessionaires, and concerned NGOs; engaging our public as they become increasingly aware of the escalating costs of investments in water and sewerage; involving the affected hosts of our natural water sources, and getting them all behind MWSS in its urgent pursuit of water security – this is the new milieu of parallel responsibilities that we now face. Organizationally, our only choice is to speedily get ahead in knowledge, knowhow, skill and relationships in water that will enable us to better plan and implement our legacies.
In line with this challenge, we kicked off in 2012 a significant amount of preparatory work for infrastructure project feasibility studies, investment packaging, funding strategies and construction specifications. Apart from infrastructure, we included the critical area of watershed revitalization and protection and developed business continuity plans. We involved the necessary partners to push studies, approvals, bidding preparations, and local community and public[/wpcol_1half][wpcol_1half_end]engagement to completion. The infrastructure and watershed protection projects are currently in various stages and are described in detail in this report.
2012 also saw the full implementation of major reforms affecting the organization, which included the rationalization of compensation packages of all employees; the institutionalization of a new set of required skills, knowledge and work attitude; the establishment of the competencies that make for a truly vibrant organization; and the adoption of a new performance-based management system. All these were done not without pain and tension, but we took bold and critical steps, and hope to see through their fruition.
Preliminary financial figures for 2012 indicate another fiscally successful year as we will be able to pay off our tax balance and we are projected to declare our second cash dividend on the second year of our operations initially amounting to Php 100 million. This was made possible by the full-year implementation of correct employee benefits system and instituting a tight rein on related maintenance and operating expenses coupled with prudent capital investment programming.
2013 will witness the rise of infrastructure projects promised in the Water Security Legacy Plan towards the second semester, and the implementation of all other major efforts aimed at strengthening the organization. Another key endeavor in the first half of this year is the Rate Rebasing Process which is conducted every five years to determine fair pricing for our water and sanitation services. We are confident that even with the limits imposed by existing legal contracts and official agreements, there are avenues we can explore to adequately represent our publics by protecting their rights to safe and affordable water while ensuring fairness and continued sustainability to our Concessionaires. In all of these, we commit to keep the process as transparent and above board.
I congratulate all the men and women of MWSS for their contribution to all that we report to you here – direct or indirect – for they served to put together a year that was both demanding and fulfilling. I thank you and I look forward to working more closely with you through 2013 and beyond. My deep appreciation and gratitude goes to our Chairman and Board of Trustees, for their selfless, invaluable and continuing work and guidance; to Secretary Singson for his support and leadership; and, to President Aquino, for his continuing trust and confidence, and his ever constant reminder that our responsibility is to our bosses, the 15 million people in our service area.[/wpcol_1half_end]
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.