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

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

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

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More water service interruptions as Angat Dam’s level remains below critical

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Water level in Angat Dam remains below the critical level on Monday (July 15) despite rainshowers in the past days.

As of 6:00 a.m., Angat Dam has 158.74 meters, still below the critical level of 160 meters and way below its normal operating level of 180 meters.

On its Facebook page, concessionaire Manila Water on Monday announced continuous implementation of rotational water interruptions due to the current state of Angat Dam.

“Ang mga service interruption na ito ay ginagawa para maipamahagi ang limitadong suplay ng tubig sa lahat ng aming mga customer, dahil nananatiling mas mababa ang alokasyon mula sa NWRB dala ng muling pagbaba ng antas ng Angat Dam,” Manila Water said on its post.

(This service interruptions aim to evenly distribute the limited supply of water to all our customers because allocation from NWRB remains low due to below critical level of water in Angat Dam.)

See Manila Water’s list of service interruptions here.

Meanwhile, Maynilad also said it was cutting water supply as it continues to fine-tune its distribution given the reduced raw water releases from Angat Dam.

“We encourage our affected customers to store enough water when supply is available,” Maynilad posted.

See Maynilad’s updated list of water service interruptions here.

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Metro Manila shake drill set on July 27 – MMDA

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

FILE: PNP National Headquarters participated in the 1st Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on April 21, 2016. Response and Rescue operations were also done during the activity. (Photo: PNP FB Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold an earthquake drill, dubbed as Metro Manila Shake Drill, on July 27.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said this year’s shake drill will start as early as four in the morning, to be signaled by the sounding of an alarm.

“For this year, it will be done on a weekend and at almost the break of dawn when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep,” he said.

“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” he added.

Garcia said they intentionally scheduled the drill very early in the morning so the public can participate.

Shake drills in the past years were done during daytime and even on rush hours, with last year leveling up to an unannounced, rush hour daytime drill.

“We want to test the response capabilities and preparedness of LGUs and the private sector as earthquake may occur anytime,” Garcia said.

The MMDA official added that during the shake drill, they will mobilize agency employees, Metro local government units and other groups to demonstrate their contingency plans in case strong earthquake hits the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, also the head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), will visit city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro on the day of the drill.

Different emergency scenarios will also be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households.

“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” said Garcia.

During the drill, the agency will also practice the deployment of personnel to designated emergency operation centers located at the four quadrants in Metro Manila.

The MMDA said the northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as evacuation camp while the western quadrant will use the Intramuros Golf Course.

The eastern quadrant will use the LRT-2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course.

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DOTr’s Tugade meets with Tolentino on emergency powers bid vs PH traffic woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday met with Senator Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on refiling an emergency powers bill to solve the country’s traffic woes, particularly in Metro Manila.

Tugade said he met with Tolentino to tackle the measure that has been pending in both chambers of Congress for more than two years.

The transportation chief said he will do his best to convince lawmakers to pass the bill, which he sees as a vital solution to the country’s perennial problem on traffic.

“‘Wag po nating pabaunan ng duda ‘yung deliberasyon, pababaunan ko yan ng kaliwanagan sa pag-uusap. Naniniwala ako na kung ang mga mag-uusap ay may kaliwanagan, magkakaroon ng kooperasyon, pwede po nating mapadali ito,” he told reporters in an interview.

(Let us not cast doubt on the deliberation, I will shed light on its importance during discussion. I believe than when it is tackled by people who understand it, there will be cooperation. This can be fast-tracked.)

Tolentino earlier said he will push for the emergency powers bid once the incoming 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

The lawmaker said his version of the bill focuses on strengthening the mandate of concerned agencies and local government units to address the traffic crisis.

“Nalagyan natin ng ibang detalye na wala dati, for instance ‘yung working hours, ‘yung adjustment ng oras ng pagpasok at yung role ng mga local government units,” he said.

(We have placed there details that are not present in the previous bill, for instance the working hours, adjustment of working hours and the role of local government units.)

The bill seeking to ease the worsening traffic situation was first filed after Duterte said in his 2016 State of the Nation Address that traffic problems should be legitimately addressed if Congress could accord him emergency powers.

He eventually gave up on his plan after some lawmakers said that the emergency powers might be used for corruption.

Under the proposed Traffic Crisis Act, previously filed in the 17th Congress, the Transportation Secretary will be designated as Traffic Chief with power of control and supervision over land transportation agencies. He will also have the authority to harmonize and enforce all traffic rules and regulations to implement a unified traffic system throughout each of the metropolitan areas and implement programs that will have significant impact on addressing the traffic crisis.

The bill was approved on third and final reading of the House of Representatives while its Senate version reached the plenary but was not approved until the 17th Congress adjourned.

Although there is a need to resolve the worsening traffic woes in the country, the DOTr said that once the bill is refiled, they will not ask the president to certify it as urgent.

“Kung magkasundo po kami sa mga datos at detalye, hindi po ba mas magandang pumunta kami kay pangulo na handa na yung detalye kaysa blanket na hihingin na wala pang detalye?  Hindi ho ba mas magandang proseso yung ganun?” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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