Press Release
December 17, 2015


Water consumers may look forward to more improvements in the services of their local water districts once Senate Bill (S.B.) No. 3036 is passed into law.

On Wednesday, Sen. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III filed a proposed measure seeking to exempt water districts from the provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7656, which requires government-owned and controlled corporations to remit 50% of their annual net earnings to the national government.

"Water is the most fundamental of all human needs. Water supply is a primary concern and responsibility of the government. Local water districts are the conduits of the government in undertaking such responsibility and should be given full support in handling this essential function," Guingona stated.

Under S.B. 3036, local water districts will be exempted from forwarding half of their annual net earnings to the national government, provided that the supposed dividend is used by water districts concerned in continuing expansions and improvements of their systems.

Moreover, the bill also provides that all unpaid remittances to the national government, or any portion thereof, due from local water districts from August 15, 1996 until the Act's date of effectivity are deemed condoned.

"While the Congress recently passed R.A. 10026, which exempts local water districts from income taxes, the subsequent savings are not enough to sustain the viability and financial stability of local water districts," Guingona added.

The bill is in response to the concern raised by Pangasinan Association of Water Districts, Inc. (PANAWAD, Inc.), which maintains that local water districts are financially independent from the national government and any political subdivisions.

According to the group, there may be potential hindrances that the mandated remittance would cause their operations, which includes the expansion, improvement and maintenance of water supply system, and the operation and maintenance of waste water collection treatment and disposal facilities.

The bill has already been referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

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