March 1, 2022 5:53 p.m.
Manila Water posted consolidated earnings of ₱3.7 billion for 2021, 18% lower than the previous year as the full-year effect of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted customer demand and business operations, even as domestic and international operations outside the East Zone Concession showed improved performance.
Despite the challenges, including an ongoing tariff freeze, the Company pushed through with its projects to ensure prudent compliance to regulatory and service commitments, with group CAPEX at nearly ₱17 billion for the year.
On a group level, revenues declined 4% to ₱20.3 billion due to lower billed volume across all segments in the East Zone Concession and in several domestic subsidiaries, with the full-year impact of COVID-19 restrictions significantly affecting customer consumption.
Cost and expenses for the period stood at ₱9.2 billion in 2021, up 7% from last year, as business and operating activities ramped up coming from restrictions imposed under the Enhanced Community Quarantines (ECQ) in 2020.
This increase was partially offset by lower power and chemical costs in line with lower production during the period.
For its operations in the East Zone Concession, 2021 saw revenues decline by 6% to ₱9.2 billion, mainly driven by 4% decline in billed volume.
Meanwhile, cost and expenses rose by 11% to ₱5.5 billion for the period, driven by the resumption of repairs and maintenance, collection, connection, and sanitation activities with the relative easing of ECQ restrictions from the previous year.
These activities are in compliance with increasing service obligations in the East Zone Concession, even as it continues to operate under a tariff freeze on implementing approved adjustments.
Despite the challenges posed by ECQ restrictions on project execution, the East Zone Concession continued with its capital expenditure program, consequently posting nearly ₱14.0 billion worth of projects for the year.
Said projects focus on water supply, network reliability and wastewater expansion in line with the fulfillment of service obligations under its Service Improvement Plan.
Some notable projects are the East Bay Project which will provide an additional 50 million liters per day (mld) of water supply to customers by extracting water from Laguna Lake. Furthermore, the Wawa Calawis project will provide total additional supply of 518 mld, with 80 mld already available by end 2022.
These projects will further augment available water supply to East Zone Concession customers and ensure reliable water service, with continued collaboration with key government agencies MWSS, NWRB and NIA. East Zone Concession customers currently continue to experience 24×7 water supply but the growing demand will require investments in additional infrastructure.
Looking at the businesses outside the East Zone Concession, Manila Water Philippine Ventures (MWPV) saw improvement in profitability with the good performance of its North Luzon and Central Luzon clusters. Specifically, MWPV’s Laguna Water saw a 2% growth in billed volume, driven by the increase in consumption with the energization of its Laguna Wellfield.
For Manila Water Asia Pacific (MWAP), equity share in net income of associates more than doubled in 2021, with improved performance from East Water in Thailand, as well as by bulk water supply operations of Thu Duc Water and Kenh Dong Water in Vietnam.
Lastly, 2021 marked key wins for Manila Water for both its domestic and international businesses. For MWPV, it secured a 200 mld bulk water supply contract for the Province of Pangasinan.
This ₱8.0 billion, 25-year project will provide bulk water supply to over 1.3 million customers in the province.
For MWAP, 2021 signaled the entry of Manila Water in the Middle East market as it successfully closed two Management, Operations and Maintenance (MOM) contracts with the National Water Company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its Northwest and Eastern clusters, respectively. These MOM contracts are in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s long-term plan towards a public-private partnership for its water utility.
There’s a Nanyang near you for all your Singaporean food cravings
August 4, 2023 6:30 p.m.
Missing Singapore’s famous Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa fishball, Cheesy Chicken Chop Noodles and Kopi?
Visit your nearest Nanyang Philippines branch.
Globe powers up TOYCON 2023’s landmark 20th year
June 29, 2023 6:53 p.m.
As Toycon Philippines proudly commemorates its 20th year, the landmark celebration promises to be more electrifying than ever with the formidable support of leading digital lifestyle brand Globe.
Globe has always been at the forefront of supporting diverse subcultures and passions, and this partnership is a testament to its commitment. As part of the collaboration, Globe will bring to life the rich world of its cinematic and theatrical partners, further enriching the TOYCON 2023 experience for attendees.
“As the country’s most reliable network and top digital solutions platform with an ecosystem of various services, we’re uniquely positioned to foster the vibrancy of the toy collecting and creating community. This partnership underscores our commitment to nurturing a wide array of passions and interests while ensuring the best connectivity for all participants.”
Cholo Mallillin, Marketing Head at Toycon Philippines, said: “The collaboration with Globe will further elevate the Toycon experience. This partnership will bring more surprises and rewards to our community. We invite everyone to join us as we celebrate 20 years of Toycon in the most exciting way possible.”
TOYCON 2023 will be held at the SMX Convention Center in MOA from July 7 to 9, 2023. Attendees are in for a treat, as they have the chance to meet their beloved childhood characters, explore an expansive marketplace of unique toys and collectibles, and participate in exclusive Globe activities.
One of the highlights of the partnership is a series of exclusive perks for Globe customers. By using Globe Rewards points, customers will have the opportunity to win various ticket tiers ranging from Day Passes to VIP Passes. There will also be exclusive toy freebies for VIP pass holders, and unique Globe-only activities, such as paint-your-own Gudi.
At the event, Globe will also host an interactive booth featuring activities designed to reward and inspire. From earning freebies by donating Rewards points to a good cause, to free arcade plays and meet-ups with popular streamers, Globe customers are in for an exciting weekend of gaming and beyond.
To learn more about Globe, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/.
Love the long weekend break? Cybercriminals do, too
April 4, 2023 5:11 p.m.
There are 18 official public holidays in the Philippines. As we all know, when these dates fall close to a weekend or if the government pursues holiday economics, most Filipinos make plans in advance to take advantage of extended holiday breaks. This year, we can get to do that at least 12 times.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals get excited about holidays, too. To refresh everyone’s memory, the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist back in 2016 is an example of a successful cyber attack, which happened on the first day of Lunar New Year, a national holiday in the Philippines and the rest of Asia.
“Now that the world has reopened, travel is back with a vengeance this year, hence the term ‘travel revenge’. Whether Filipinos are scheduling holiday trips or just staycation-ing during the long weekends, it’s important to observe simple digital security practices so you can get to sit back and relax as you take your well-deserved vacation. Security-first thinking opens doors for a more enjoyable holiday break, especially for Filipinos who are amongst the world’s most active online users,” comments Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
Both individuals and companies are advised to be extra mindful of personal cybersecurity best practices and internet hygiene when on a holiday.
For companies, Kaspersky suggests to:
- Conduct drills
- Stress to vacationing employees why data encryption, two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and locking devices when not in use are important.
- Discuss the steps to take if their device ends up getting stolen.
- Advise staff about charging smartphones in a wall socket, not through USBs at airports and other public places (these can be used to steal data from a device and infect it with malicious software, such as spyware.
- Educate employees about the dangers of public WIFI (and even hotel WIFI unless it is encrypted and password-protected) and how to use a secure connection such as with a VPN.
- Log out
- Terminate unnecessary VPN connections to the corporate infrastructure.
- End unnecessary sessions that employees have left on any devices for an extended period of time. This also applies to corporate messengers, web apps and any other services.
- Check that the list of employees with access to the corporate network via VPN or RDP include only authorized users. Revoke access from those who don’t need it.
- Create special “emergency” admin accounts for potential incident response over the holidays. The rights granted to regular admin accounts can even be temporarily restricted so that attackers cannot exploit them.
- Install patches for all key applications. This process is far simpler if your company uses security solutions with a built-in patch management system.
Meanwhile, Kaspersky encourages individuals to:
- Only browse trusted apps and websites and be careful about personal information you input like credit card numbers or home address.
- Do not click on links or open email attachments from travel sites when receiving confirmations. Trusted companies include such letters in the bodies of their emails. Malware is often disguised as an attached confirmation letter.
- Bring two or three or more credit or debit cards to have a backup plan in case of loss or needing to cancel one.
- Never leave valuables unattended. Put large amounts of cash and mobile devices or laptops in the hotel safe.
- Use a credit card as most have built-in protections against fraud. There is no protection against a scammer if you send them cash or even check or debit card payment in some cases. A money transfer service is not advisable.
- Ensure their devices has security software installed, ideally with anti-theft technology.