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Manila Water rotational service interruptions to start Tuesday night

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – East zone concessionaire Manila Water Co. announced it will implement rotational water service interruptions beginning Tuesday night.

In a Facebook post, the Manila Water said the entire Metro Manila east zone will experience service interruption for about eight to 12 hours during night time.

ADVISORY (18 JUNE 2019): The National Water Resources Board has announced it will reduce allocation to both…

Posted by Manila Water on Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The water company said the move is a result of the reduced water allocation of the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) for the Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS) as the Angat Dam water level continues to decline.

READ: NWRB set to reduce allocation to water concessionaires

The NWRB earlier said the technical working group has proposed to reduce the allocation from 46 cubic meters per second (cms) to 40 cms from June 19 to 21.

This is to fine tune the preparation of the Low-Level Outlet (LLO) as a back-up water discharge and to lessen the effect of limited water supply in the coming days before the Angat dam breaches the critical level of 160 meters.

According to Manila Water, the reduced allocation will affect the supply going to its treatment plants.

“We are therefore constrained to implement a new scheme of rotational water service interruptions for the entire East Zone for about 8 to 12 hours during night time,” the company said.

In a separate interview, Manila Water communications planning and tactical development manager Dittie Galang said consumers should brace for longer service disruption because the water allocation is seen to be reduced further if there is no significant inflow in Angat dam in the coming days.

“We are looking at window of 4 to 17 hours water service interruptions per day,” Galang said.

The Manila Water said schedules of water interruptions per area will be released as soon as possible.

“We will continue to provide regular updates regarding the water supply outlook for the East Zone,” it said.

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc., meanwhile, advised its consumers to store enough water in preparation for longer hours of service interruption.

“Of the 70 percent, 20 percent po dito ‘yung severely affected. Meaning. posibleng hanggang 8 hours lamang sila may tubig sa maghapon at yung remaining 50 percent po ay 9 hours to 16 hours lang yung supply window niya,” said Ronald Padua, head of Maynilad water supply operations.

Meanwhile, MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco reminded water concessionaires to strictly follow the water service interruption schedules provided to consumers to avoid facing backlash and penalties.

“Kung ano yung iprinomise nila na delivery, dapat maka-deliver sila on time. Hindi pwede ‘yung ito yung sinabi nila tapos mawawala ang tubig on that time,” said Velasco. (with details from Joan Nano)

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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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DOH warns public of diseases from drinking contaminated water

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

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

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Creation of Department of Water urged amid water woes in Metro Manila

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers on Tuesday pushed anew for the creation of a department that will solely address the country’s water woes amid a supply crisis being experienced in Metro Manila and nearby towns.

During an oversight hearing in the House of Representatives, several lawmakers raised their concerns over the persistent water troubles, which began in March this year and continued through the peak of the dry season.

Solons believe it is high time for the country to have a Department of Water to correctly manage its abundant supply of fresh water and resolve the water crisis.

“Importante talaga na magkaroon tayo ng isang sistema ng pamamalakad ng tubig dito… Ito ay long overdue na na kailangan ng Pilipinas dahil nakikita natin ang mismanagement ng tubig,” said Bulacan Representative Jonathan Sy-Alvarado.

He cited the amount of water being released from dams when rains brought by a tropical cyclone fill up dams to spilling level when it could have been stored in a different reservoir, which may be accessed by water concessionaires during the dry season.

The conduct of the hearing comes amid rapidly declining water level in Angat dam that left the metropolis parched despite the onset of the rainy season.

Attending the inquiry were representatives from concessionaires, Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

During the hearing, the LWUA also suggested asking for the help of local water districts in distributing supply to areas affected by the water shortage.

“We can ask them (water districts) to help share their water resources although the problem maybe is how to transport the water,” said Jeci Lapus, LWUA acting administrator.

Concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, both agreed with Lapus’ proposal.

“We support the plan to give us more water,” said Ferdinand de la Cruz, president of Manila Water.

“Sa Maynilad po we also welcome the offer of administrator Jeci Lapus,” said Ramoncito Fernandez, who heads Maynilad.

The water level at Angat Dam has continued to dip, hitting 158.77 meters as of 6 a.m. Tuesday (June 25).

The dropping water elevation at Angat Dam has prompted water concessionaires to implement rotational service interruptions.

Aside from the creation of the Department of Water, suggestions on storing rainwater and recycling of wastewater used in water-intensive facilities were also discussed during the House inquiry.

Malacañang, for its part, said it is open to any proposal seeking to address the country’s water troubles.

“Pinag-aaralan lahat ng pwedeng gawin to solve water problem,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a Palace press briefing.

Meanwhile, the Makabayan bloc reiterated its earlier demand to hold the water concessionaires accountable for the water shortage being felt in Metro Manila.

It also renewed its call for the government to take over these water utilities to ensure water security, transparency, and accountability. (with details from Grace Casin)

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