Customers irked over late water interruption advisory from Manila Water and Maynilad

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 19, 2019   •   2346

Customers of water concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad complained about the late posting of water interruption schedules.

Manila Water posted its advisory around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday. However, several residents said they already lost water supply by 5:00 p.m.

One of the residents, Tessie Olmos, said she was surprised about the water interruption and hence was not able to store water at home.

“Hindi man lang sinabi, nag-abiso kung mawawalan o hindi kaya nagulat na lang kami nang bandang hapon na wala ng tubig. Hindi man lang kami nakapag-ipon (There was no advisory so we were surprised that there was no more water. We were not able to store water),” she said.

Another resident, Rey Tayag, said there was an advisory but it was already late.

Meanwhile, Maynilad posted its advisory on Facebook at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday (June 19). The post read that there will be water interruption in several areas at 1:00 p.m.

Customers complained in the comment section saying there was not enough time for them to store enough water.

According to the water concessionaire, they are working on fixing the water interruption schedule. They also call on the public to understand the situation because there are a lot of things to consider to satisfy the need for water supply amid the limited resources.

“Short notice din naman iyong nangyari. After the technical working group meeting kahapon and after the press briefing, that was the only time na sinabi na there’s going to be a reduction. There was very little time for us to really list all the barangay and come up with a schedule (What happened was also at short notice. After the technical working group meeting yesterday, and after the press briefing, that was the only time it was reported that there’s going to be a reduction),” according to Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla Jr.

According to Maynilad’s Corporate Communications head, Jennifer Rufo, they need time to analyze the impact of their distribution system.

“As it was announced the implementation was already being done that let us a little bit of time to analyze kung ano iyong magiging impact sa aming distribution system (what will be the impact of our distribution system),” she said.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) will investigate the complaints about the water interruption schedule of both Maynilad and Manila Water.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Maynilad warns of possible water service interruption in coming days

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad Water Services Inc. on Tuesday warned its customers it may implement daily rotational water service interruptions in the coming days due to the declining water levels in Angat and Ipo dams.

In a statement, Maynilad said the water levels at Angat and Ipo watersheds are dropping due to scant rains in the past few days.

The west zone water concessionaire explained that because the current water allocation from Angat dam remains at 40 cubic meters per second, the water supply entering Ipo dam and Maynilad’s treatment facilities were not sufficient.

The normal water allocation is 48 cms.

If their reservoirs will not be replenished, and water levels at Angat and Ipo dams remain low, Maynilad said it may implement rotational water service interruption in the following days.

The utility firm advised customers to visit its social media accounts for the final schedule of water service interruption, which may be posted on Wednesday, October 16.

“Tandaan ang daily service interruption schedule sa inyong lugar at paghandaan ito, dahil posibleng maipatupad na ito sa mga suusnod na araw depende sa aktwal na pag-ulan na magaganap sa Angat at Ipo watersheds,”

It also reminded customers to store enough water prior to the scheduled interruption in their area.

MWSS says Manila Water, Maynilad not allowed to pass on penalties to consumers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Friday clarified that Maynilad and Manila Water are not allowed to pass on to consumers any amount of financial penalties that the Supreme Court imposed for violation of environmental laws.

The Supreme Court earlier imposed more than P900 million fine for each concessionaire, as well as the MWSS, for their non-compliance of the Clean Water Act over their failure to put up sewage lines and sewage treatment facilities in the previous years.

They were also ordered to pay a fine of P322,000 per day for every day of their non-compliance with the Clean Water Act.

“The agency reassures the public that financial penalties imposed by the SC may not be passed on to consumers. It is clearly provided for in the concession agreement,” MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said. The SC in its decision last August also ordered the MWSS to pay a fine for the violation.

The MWSS made the statement following reports that water rates will increase as a result of the SC ruling.

Ty assured that whatever additional costs that concessionaires will bear in order to comply with the high court’s ruling will not be passed on to consumers until the next rate rebasing.

“We also audit them and we also engage a third-party audit firm to audit the books of the concessionaires to ensure that they will not be able to recover this expense,” he said.

The chief regulator, however, said that whatever prudent and efficient expense that concessionaires may incur in completing facilities and building of sewerage treatment plants in compliance with the court’s ruling may be passed on to consumers but only after the next rate rebasing in 2023.

“We can also do an expiration payment. that means the two concessionaires would be able to recover the said expense at the end of their concession terms instead of a having it increase, a sudden increase in the water rates,” Ty said.

“’Pag hindi po to prudent and efficient, hindi po ito papayagan na ipasa sa publiko,” he added.

Rate rebasing is done every five years. It is a review of the water utilities’ past performance and projection of their future cash flows to set the water rates at a level that would allow concessionaires to recover their expenditures and earn a rate of return referred by the concession agreements as the appropriate discount rate.

Manila Water on Friday clarified that the company never stated it will pass on fines to consumers, adding that the 780-percent increase included in its motion for reconsideration against the ruling “is what it would have cost to build wastewater facilities to comply with the Supreme Court Decision subject of our Motion for Reconsideration.”

Maynilad and Manila Water have filed separate appeal in court. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)  

Metro Manila water rates to go up this month

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Water rates in Metro Manila will increase this October following the approval of rate hikes requested by concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company.

In a statement, the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said it has approved the implementation of the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA) for Manila Water and Maynilad covering fourth quarter of 2019.

Manila Water will impose an increase of P0.69 per cubic meter (cu.m.), equivalent to 2.43 percent of its average basic charge of P25.52 cu.m. This is higher than the P0.52 cu.m. increase in the third quarter of this year.

This translates to additional P0.93 per month for those consuming 10 cu.m., and additional P2.06 and P4.20 for households using 20 cu.m. and 30 cu.m., respectively.

Manila Water provides supply and services to the east zone of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, Maynilad customers will see P0.13 per cubic meter increase in their bill this month or negative 0.35 percent of its average basic charge set at P36.24 per cubic meter or negative P0.13 per cubic meter.

This means that those using 10 cubic meters each month will pay P0.09 higher in their dues, P0.34 for those consuming 20 cubic meters while P0.70 for those consuming 30 cubic meters per month.

The FCDA is a tariff mechanism used to recover or compensate for fluctuations in foreign exchange rates as water concessionaires pay foreign-dominated fees and loans to fund projects that will improve their services.

The MWSS said gains and losses can arise from the payment of concession loans and foreign currency-dominated debt whose proceeds are used to improve services.

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