Virgilio Rivera
COO, New Business Operations, Manila Water Company, President & CEO, Manila Water Philippine Ventures & Manila Water Asia Pacific, IWA Board Member


For nearly 25 years and as a member of the Manila Water’s senior leadership team, Virgilio, or Perry Rivera played a strategic and leadership role in shaping the performance and growth of the company in the Philippines. The transformation of service in the East Zone of Metro Manila under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model has been extensively documented by leading institutions not limited to the Asian Development Bank, World Bank/IFC, and Harvard Business School. Arguably, it remains to be the largest and demonstrably successful mega-city water utility transformations in the world.

Under his leadership, Manila Water expanded its scope to support a dozen cities in the Philippines and in several countries in South East Asia through various Joint Venture modalities with host cities and municipalities. This enabled the company to gain significant traction in Vietnam and Thailand and strategic foothold in Myanmar and Indonesia.

During the past 10 years, he have travelled extensively in South Asia and Southeast Asia in search of new business opportunities enabling me to reach a rich understanding of the common and unique institutional and regulatory structures and of the water and sanitation challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and formulate appropriate policies and strategies as demonstrated by our growing presence in Southeast Asia.

In his nearly 25 years of experience in the Water Sector, his involvement and gained expertise in public policy and regulatory strategy, strategic planning, and business development also made him very effective as an Independent Director of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), as a Founding Member of the Academy of Regulatory Professionals at Public Utility Research Centre of the University of Florida, and as an Adjunct Professor at the Global Change Institute (GCI) of the University of Queensland, Australia.

His book Tap Secrets: The Manila Water Story – An Exercise in Successful Utility Reform in Urban Water Sector, which contains my insights and vision for the urban water sector was published by the Asian Development Bank in 2014.


Connect with Virgilio Rivera on IWA-Connect.