Boracay Water marks 12th year, invests PhP 4.3B in CAPEX
Boracay Water, a public-private partnership between the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and Manila Water’s fully owned subsidiary, Manila Water Philippine Ventures, recently marked twelve years of providing reliable water supply and wastewater services to the country’s top tourist destination after investing more than PhP 4.32 billion in various infrastructure facilities.
Immediately after Boracay Water began its operations in 2010, the company developed a 25-year masterplan anchored on environmental sustainability, service continuity, service accessibility and water security, to support the economic potential of the Island as a major tourist haven. Boracay Water made sure that safe and reliable water supply is available in the Island and at the same time, ensured proper wastewater management in the island’s three barangays namely Manocmanoc, Balabag, and Yapak including the white beach’s popular commercial stations 1, 2, and 3.
By 2015, various projects were implemented to improve water supply network from source to distribution which increased water availability in the Island, allowing 100 percent of Boracay Water’s customers to experience 24 by 7 supply from only 13 hours or less back in 2010. Some of the major projects completed included the rehabilitation of the water treatment plant in Caticlan with a capacity of 25 million liters per day, the one-kilometer submarine water pipeline along the Caticlan-Boracay channel that supplies water to Boracay from mainland Malay town, repairs and replacement of kilometers of old networks along with expansion of piping system, rehabilitation and construction of pumping stations and booster pumps to serve the highest and farthest areas of the Island.
Boracay Water also focused on reducing systems losses due to leaking old pipes which was at a high of 37 percent of total production in 2010. To date, the company has brought the level of water losses down to 18 percent. Water recovered from leakages is brought back to the system and distributed to customers.
Aside from implementing projects that will ensure the continuous supply of potable water to the Island, Boracay Water began the herculean task of upgrading and expanding its wastewater facilities. The company started to immediately address the deterioration in coastal water quality by rehabilitating the existing Balabag sewage treatment plant and sewer network which only provided wastewater service to 22 percent of the Island. Rehabilitation of the Balabag sewage facility was completed in 2011—four years ahead of target. Aside from doubling treatment capacity from 2.6 to 6.5 million liters a day (MLD), Boracay Water guaranteed that the facility complies with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ discharge standards.
Regular desludging services of septic tanks was also provided for unsewered areas through Boracay Water’s fleet of vacuum trucks. Septage collected from septic tanks is also treated in the same Balabag plant. In September 2016, the company inaugurated its second wastewater facility, the Manocmanoc Sewage Treatment Plant that has the capacity to process 5 million liters daily in order to manage the increasing volume of wastewater due to the influx of tourist arrivals in Boracay.
Currently, sewer coverage in the Island is at 61 percent and is projected to further expand to 87 percent by 2024 with the additional upgrades in the facilities and more projects that will soon be implemented for the Island’s wastewater system.
As Boracay Water prepares for more tourist arrivals with the easing of mobility restrictions, it will continue to invest and expand its infrastructure in the island to ensure availability of clean, safe, reliable water supply as well as to safeguard the environment with the provision of enhanced wastewater and sanitation services.