Manila Water releases list of areas to be given full bill waiver

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2019   •   2195

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water Services has released a partial list of areas that have been validated as “severely affected” by the water supply shortage that was experienced in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.

Listed below are barangays that were validated as severely affected:

MANDALUYONG

  • Barangay Addition Hills
  • Barangay Barangka Drive
  • Barangay Plainview
  • Barangay Highway Hills
  • Barangay Hulo

PASIG

  • Barangay Kapitolyo
  • Barangay Bagong Ilog
  • Barangay Oranbo

TAGUIG

  • Barangay Upper Bicutan

RIZAL

  • Barangay Mambog in Binangonan

Around 152,000 households from 44 severely affected barangays will be given a full bill waiver for their March consumption, as announced by the Manila Water last week. This will be reflected on their April bill.

READ: Manila Water waives minimum charge in April bill

The utility company said the minimum charge in the April bill will be fully waived if residents experienced water service outage for at least seven days, whether consecutive or not.

The minimum charge is equivalent to the value of 10 cubic meters of water, which ranges from P76 to P656, depending on whether the supply is for domestic or industrial use.

The one-time full waiver, however, does not apply to any previous unpaid amount of consumers.  – Robie de Guzman

House joint panel approves proposed Department of Water Resources bill

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

Filipinos queue with their containers for a water ration at a residential district of Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – The House committees on government reorganization and on public highways on Tuesday jointly approved a consolidated bill seeking the creation of the Department of Water Resources Board (DWR) that will oversee policies on the country’s water supply.

The still unnumbered bill consolidated 35 House bills providing for the creation of the said agency.

Under the consolidated bill, the proposed Department of Water Resources will be the primary national agency to implement Presidential Decree No. 1067 or the Water Code of the Philippines, and Republic Act No. 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004.

Its creation shall ensure that there is a government body responsible and accountable for all aspects of water resource management, including the development of dams and other infrastructure, the harvest of water, and the management of the waste water system.

“[Ang DWR] ang dapat sisihin kung may krisis sa susunod. Walang iba, wala kang ibang ituturo. Ang Department of Water na ito ang siyang responsible para resolbahin at maprevent ang water crisis,” said Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda, who sponsored the bill and authored one of the substituted measures.

The new department’s attached agencies will include the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System, the Local Water Utilities Administration, the Laguna Lake Development Authority, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, and the National Irrigation Administration.

The measure also provides for the creation of the Water Regulatory Commission, which shall serve as an independent body.

“‘Yung Department of Water essentially in charge of resource management. ‘Yung isa naman, economic regulation. Anong kaibahan? ‘Yung water resource management essentially paghahanap ng tubig, pagtransmit ng tubig. Pero pagdating sa epekto sa ekonomiya—halimbawa, sa presyo, sa taripa—’yan walang pakialam [ang DWR] except for siguro sa pagcharge ng fees for raw water pricing,” Salceda said.

Proponents of the bill said the measure is timely given the issues plaguing the water supply in Metro Manila.

It is also in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to lawmakers in his State of the Nation Address to create a water department to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Currently, the National Water Resources Board under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources oversees the country’s water resources.

Duterte may impose drastic actions vs Maynilad, Manila Water if water shortage worsens – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned to take up drastic actions against water concessionaires in Metro Manila if water shortage worsens, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lack of action on the part of Maynilad and Manila Water may be a factor in the measures that the president may take on the problem.

These measures, according to Panelo, may include revocation of contracts to operate, and to make water concessionaires “accountable” if they are found at fault in the situation.

“I supposed the fact that they have not undertaken corrective measures that will prevent the evolution of the incoming crisis again would be a factor that would make the president decide on drastic action against them” he told reporters.

Water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water have scheduled rotational water service disruptions starting last Oct. 24 to manage the supply from the main water supplier for Metro Manila, Angat Dam.

The water disruption lasts between four to ten hours for Manila Water consumers, and eight to 18 hours for Maynilad customers.

Water utility firms have explained it implemented rotational supply cuts to avoid a bigger problem with water supply next year.

“Kung magpapatuloy tayo na ibibigay natin yung parehong service level at hindi tayo magpapatupad ng water interruptions mas madaling bababa yung level ng Angat,” Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

Based on the monitoring of state weather bureau, as of 6 a.m. Oct. 28, the water level at Angat dam is at 185.28 meters, slightly lower than the 185.41 meters recorded on Oct. 27.

There are only five meters left before it dips to its minimum operating level of 180 meters. The dam’s water elevation has consistently declined in the past few weeks due to lack of heavy rainfall that could raise its reserves.

Manila Water has expressed support for the planned construction of Kaliwa Dam which is seen to help allocate additional 600 million liters of water per day to Metro Manila.

“Itong Kaliwa Dam is something that we welcome, in fact, hindi lamang Kaliwa dam any other source of water na pwedeng mapagkunan ng additional sources of water supply for the next years,” Sevilla said.

However, the project construction has yet to start as the government is still in the process of reviewing its plan after receiving complaints regarding its implementation.

The Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System is looking at the Wawa Calawis project and the East Bay Water Supply project to improve the water supply in Metro Manila.

The Wawa Calawis project is seen to ensure water security in the metropolis as it can deliver 80 million liters per day, while the East Bay Water Supply project may be able to supply 50 million liters per day.

But these projects may become operational by 2022.

While waiting for completion, consumers in Metro Manila are urged to conserve water to manage the current supply from Angat dam and avoid a bigger problem during dry season next year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Water-intensive facilities get enterprising amid water service interruptions

Maris Federez   •   October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The rotational water service interruptions scheduled by water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water, had started in several areas in Metro Manila, Cavite and Bulacan at dawn on Thursday (October 24).

Maynilad and Manila Water adopted the said measure following the continuing decrease of the water level in Angat Dam.

Read: Maynilad warns of possible water service interruption in coming days

Alongside the residents stocking water for their daily use, owners of water-intensive facilities, such as laundromats and car wash centers, get enterprising to go on business as usual.

Laundry shop crewmembers say water service interruptions create big impact on their business as they need to adjust their operating hours in cases when their stored water in their water tanks would not suffice.

“Halimbawa nung nakaraan ang tubig bumalik siya ng alas tres na ng hapon, so off kami sa umaga tapos mag-oopen kami alas tres na or dos na ang opening namin” Nida Dagtan, a laundryshop staff said.

She also said water service interruptions affect their salaries as daily income wagers, particularly when they have to close their shop earlier than the usual time.

A carwash shop owner, meanwhile, said they have to store water in every way and containers they can so as not to have shortage during business hours, to the extent of securing rainwater catchments.

“Nagsasahod kami sa ulan para dun sa mga lower parts ng sasakyan dun namin ginagamit para makatipid kami ng tubig,” said Regie Echano, a carwash shop owner.

He added that on average, they can service 40 vehicles a day that’s why it is imperative that they have enough stored water.

Water refilling stations, on the other hand, would store water in two large tanks to ensure that they can service their clients even with the shortage.

“Pinupuno na po namin yung tangke para kapag walang tubig, may handa kami. May pambigay sa customer,” said Welmer Estanel, a water refilling station crew.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB), however, advised the public to store water just enough to get by during the hours when the water supply is stalled.

This is so that Maynilad and Manila Water will not run low of water supply very quickly that would result in longer hours of water service interruption.

Based on Maynilad advisory, the areas they cover will experience around 8 to 18 hours of no water services; while Manila Water’s scheduled water interruption in the areas they cover will happen for four to eight hours.  (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

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