QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Bayan Muna Partylist has filed a complaint at the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) against Manila Water over weeks of water interruptions.
In a 20-page petition, the group wants Manila Water customers to no longer pay their bill this March. Affected residents should also receive compensation due to the difficulties they have experienced amid the water shortage.
“Ang gastos nila sa mga nakaraang linggo para lang makabili ng drum mga timba, makabili ng bottled water ay napakalaki kumpara doon sa kanilang average monthly bills, (Their expenses last week just to buy a drum of water or bottled water is too much compared to their average monthly bills)” Bayan Muna secretary general Renato Reyes said.
The group also wants the MWSS and Manila Water to conduct a public hearing where consumers can have an opportunity to be heard.
Aside from Bayan Muna, Jose Gallego a resident of Mandaluyong City also personally filed a complaint at the MWSS.
“Akala namin hanggang apat na araw lang, inabot pa kami ng isang linggo. Iyong tatay ko nga hindi na naidala sa ospital dahil dapat may therapy siya tatlong beses sa isang linggo. Ang nangyari hindi ko nadadala dito sa polymedic dahil pati polymedic walang tubig, (We thought it will only take four days, but it lasted a week. We were not able to bring our father to the hospital, he was supposed to have his therapy. It should be three times a week but even the Polymedic [General Hospital] is out of water)” he said.
MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said they will review the basis of the filed petition.
The MWSS and the officials of Manila Water held a meeting to determine the assistance they can provide to affected customers and whether they could suspend distribution of billing charges for March.
They also discussed about the possibility of a refund but it might still need to undergo a thorough process.
“Kasi hindi pa tayo sigurado. Ayaw kong sabihin na guilty sila baka sabihin naman ng Manila na prejudged na sila. Hindi ko po sila pine-prejudge. Klaro lang, hindi ko po sasabihin na kailangan po silang mag-rebate, pinag-aaralan lang po natin yan, (We’re still uncertain, we cannot say they are guilty. Manila Water might say they are being prejudged. I am doing no such thing. I am not saying they need to rebate, we are still reviewing it)” Ty said.
The MWSS already issued a Notice to Explain to Manila Water regarding the possibility of receiving penalty due to the water interruptions. Manila is given five days to respond.
The MWSS aims to come up with a decision by June if they will impose penalty against Manila Water or not. Meanwhile, the Manila Water still has no comment on the possible penalty or refund.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water’s president and CEO Ferdinand dela Cruz resigned on Thursday (August 8).
This was announced through a disclosure of the Philippine Stock Exchange following a meeting by the firm’s Board of Directors on Thursday afternoon.
In a statement on Friday (August 9), Dela Cruz confirmed his resignation citing personal reasons.
“(I) have opted to retire from Ayala Corporation now that our services are relatively stable, a new water resources roadmap is in place and a demand management plan has been initiated,” he said,
Dela Cruz’ resignation takes effect on August 31, 2019.
He will be replaced by Rene Almendras taking over as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer of Manila Water effective September 1, 2019.
Almendras served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Energy and Cabinet Secretary during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
Before he entered the government service in 2010, he already served as Manila Water’s president and CEO.
The Supreme Court (SC) recently fined Manila Water over P900 million for violating the Clean Water Act.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Board also demanded P1.13-billion payment from Manila Water for the supply crisis that disrupted water supply in Metro Manila last March.
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