DOH warns public of diseases from drinking contaminated water

Marje Pelayo   •   June 27, 2019   •   1716

MANILA, Philippines – Due to frequent service interruptions, clients of Maynilad and Manila Water are depending on water rations to survive their daily need for water.

Households are making sure to store water which they can use when taps run out of water.

But the Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public to be very careful in using stored water as they may be contaminated.

The Health Department explained that bacteria may thrive in stored water usually in open containers and those that are not regularly cleaned.

Also, tap water may be contaminated from being stuck in the faucet during longer hours of service interruptions.

“Iyong mga organisms na galing sa surroundings, sa maduming water, sa soil pwedeng mapasok doon sa tubo kasi may leak (Organisms coming from the surroundings, from contaminated water, may enter the tap due to leak),” explained DOH-NCR Asst. Regional Director Paz Corrales.

“Siyempre darating ang tubig dadaan doon. Tayong mga household na mga consumers ng water ang siyang maaapektuhan (Water flows through it. The households will be the most affected),” she added.

The common types of water-borne diseases, according to DOH, are cholera, typhoid fever, and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and death.

Thus, the DOH advises the public to maintain the cleanliness of surroundings and make it a habit to you’re your hands especially the children.

If in doubt, bring the tap water into boil to kill the bacteria.

Aqua tabs or chlorine tabs are also available and can be acquired for free in local health centers.

“The usual na pakuluan ang tubig na lumalabas pero ang pagpapakulo ay hindi iyong (basta) pinakulo mo na,papatayin mo na (dapat) 10 minutes (The usual is we boil tap water but it is not just mere boiling. It has to be at least 10 minutes boiling time),” explained Corrales.

The DOH also reminds the public to make sure that water containers are covered to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

It would also help if we use water filters to separate and eliminate residues from the running water.

For nursing mothers, breastfeeding is also very important to strengthen the baby’s immune system.

“We really promote exclusive breastfeeding kasi sa breastfeeding, you get the most nutritious of the nutritious food. The very essential nutrients ay nandodoon (are present in it) to help you combat infection,” Corrales concluded. – with details from Aiko Miguel

Senators find ‘unfair’ provisions in water concession deals

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several provisions of the concession agreement with Maynilad and Manila Water seem unfavorable to the government, according to some senators.

Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go noted Manila Water’s violations in the provisions of the contract which the water company must adhere to, such as providing efficient wastewater treatment facilities across the metropolis.

“Manila Water has yet to comply with its contractual obligation to provide for sewerage and wastewater treatment facilities in Metro Manila, which clearly constitutes a breach of the concession agreement,” he said.

Even Senator Cynthia Villar believes scrutiny of the concession agreement is very much necessary particularly the provision that deals with the water rate adjustments.

Iyong sinasabi na (the part where they said) we have no control over water concessionaires and if the government doesn’t agree to the rate increase, then the government will have to pay, dapat pinag-uusapan iyong rate. Dapat dyina-justify mo iyong rate (the rate must be discussed. You have to justify your rate,)“ Villar argued.

The two senators expressed support for recommendations to review all contracts entered into by the government and make sure that they do not compromise the welfare and rights of the Filipino people. MNP (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Maynilad, Manila Water rate to spike in 2020

Maris Federez   •   December 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services will affect a rate hike in January 2020.

This is at the height of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to review the contract between the government and the two water concessionaires. 

Maynilad and Manila Water will implement around P3.00 per cubic meter price hike.

Add to this is the increase in the Foreign Currency Differential Adjustment (FCDA) and other foreign currencies that the two water concessionaires use in their loan payment.

In 2018, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has approved Maynilad and Manila Water’s rate increase petition.

For Maynilad, the approved rate hike is P5.73 which will be applied on a staggered basis for five years or until 2022.

Manila Water, on the other hand, had been allowed a rate increase of P6.22 to P6.50.

Meanwhile, with the expected rate hike, water service interruption will still be experienced by Maynilad and Manila Water consumers as the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has yet to increase Metro Manila’s water allocation despite the rising water level in Angat Dam.

As of Friday morning, the water level in Angat Dam was at 195.03 meters.

This, however, is still far from the dam’s normal operating level of 210 to 212 meters.

Authorities advise the public to continue to conserve water to maintain sufficient water supply in Angat Dam until the next dry season. (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

Palace says gov’t won’t pay damages to Manila Water, Maynilad

Robie de Guzman   •   December 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday insisted that the government will not pay any damages sought by the concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water, for the losses they incurred from the rejected petition for rate hikes.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government will not comply with the arbitration court’s decisions as the concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water were onerous.

“Hindi, kasi nga onerous ang kontrata. Masyadong disadvantageous sa gobyerno,” Panelo said in an interview with radio station dzXL.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday threatened to file economic sabotage raps against the water concessionaires and other officials involved in the crafting of the deals following the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore’s order to pay Manila Water P7.4 billion, and Maynilad P3.6 billion about two years ago as compensation for losses or damages.

The two water firms separately took the government to court after the MWSS rejected their respective petitions to raise water rates a few years ago. The firms cited its concession deal which prohibits the government from setting water rates, and pushes for indemnification for possible losses in the event of such government interference.

Instead of paying indemnity, Panelo said the president has ordered for the drafting of new water concession deals with provisions that are advantageous to the public.

The presidential spokesman also said that the chief executive has already directed the Department of Justice to file appropriate charges against those behind the contracts which were signed in 1997.

READ: Manila Water to work closely with gov’t for ‘acceptable scheme’ on arbitral award

“The President has also directed the filing of the appropriate criminal, civil and administrative charges against all those involved in the said agreements including the latter’s owners and legal counsels, as well as agents and lawyers of the government for economic sabotage,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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