MANILA -- The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) gets the sole and exclusive right to regulate all utilities on world-famous Boracay Island and other tourist zones.

Citing a Sept. 5 ruling from the Office of the President (OP), TIEZA said the previous decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) was affirmed, effectively denying the motion for reconsideration filed by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) under OP Case No. 12-1-212.

This grants the TIEZA Regulatory Office the role to formulate customer service standards and policies applicable to all water service providers in the island.

These will cover the regulation of water supply, as well as wastewater or sewerage system on the island.

“We welcome this decision as it finally resolves the issue on regulatory authority on water utilities in Boracay. It offers a good opportunity to promote sustainable tourism through effective management of utilities,” TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas said Friday.

The case (OSJ Case No. 04331-11) was filed in 2012 to settle the issue of the regulatory authority over all utilities, including waterworks and sewerage systems in Boracay and other tourism zones.

However, since the impasse, the two water service providers (WSPs) on the island, Boracay Tubi System, Inc. and Boracay Island Water Company, Inc., have been separately supervised and regulated by the NWRB and TIEZA, respectively.

Last June 20, the Senate committee on environment and natural resources stressed the need for a delineation of service areas for the two WSPs "to avoid confusion and improve the wastewater management" on the island.

Committee chairman, Senator Cynthia Villar, asserted that a single regulatory office is necessary.

Paragas is optimistic that they can work with the water concessionaires. (PNA)