QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Manila Water will voluntarily waive the minimum charges for the month of March for their customers affected by the water shortage. This will be reflected in the April water bill.
Manila Water President Ferdinand dela Cruz said the April bill will be fully waived if residents experienced water interruption for at least seven days, whether consecutive days or not.
All customers, meanwhile, will no longer have to pay the minimum charge for 10 cubic meters or P76 for residential to P656 for industrial customers. But they will still have to pay for consumption above 10 cubic meters.
“Most customers will still have consumption above 10 cubic meters, therefore there will still be a basic charge, VAT, FCDA, environmental charge, so may babayaran pa rin siya (they still have to pay some charges). For the severely affected areas na more than seven days walang tubig, ‘yun ang wala silang babayaran, (The severely affected areas who experienced more than seven days of no water, they don’t have to pay anything),” Dela Cruz said.
Meanwhile, even though Manila Water voluntarily waived charges, the Manila Water Sewerage System (MWSS) Administration Reynaldo Velasco said they will push through with the investigation regarding Manila Water’s violation of the concession agreement.
Manila Water reports that from 62 barangays, there are now only eight barangays that still don’t have water supply.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Casin)
Despite the rising water level in Angat Dam, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has expressed concern about the possibility of another water crisis next year.
The NWRB said that if Angat Dam fails to reach its normal operating level, Metro Manila might experience another shortage come dry season.
Because of this, Congressman Ruffy Biazon, during the House Committee on Metro Manila Development hearing on Wednesday (August 28), recommended the use of Laguna Lake as a permanent source of domestic water.
This aims to address the shortage of water supply in Metro Manila and its neighboring cities and provinces in case the water level in Angat Dam recedes anew.
“Kasi iilan lang yung nakikinabang doon eh. Pinagkakakitaan yung Laguna Lake hindi para sa paggamit ng ordinaryong mamayan kung hindi sa paggamit ng mga interes ng kumpanya,” Biazon said.
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) agreed that this can be done, although they admit that they do not have the funding to conduct dredging in the lake.
They also cited the expense that will be incurred in treating and eliminating the saltwater from Manila Bay that gets combined to the water in the lake.
Add to this is the fast-increasing formation of algae which affects the quality of the water.
“Ang Laguna Lake kaya niyang i-supply ang requirement for domestic water supply as source of domestic water. Ang problema lang is more on the water quality,” said Engr. Emiterio Hernandez of the LLDA.
To date, Maynilad and Manila Water get a small percentage of water supply from Laguna Lake for their customers in Metro Manila, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan.
Meanwhile, water levels in several dams are continuously increasing due to the rains being experienced in the country.
As of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, the water level in Angat Dam has reached 181.74 meters.
Ipo Dam water level, on the other hand, has gone up to 11.82 meters; while that of La Mesa Dam went up to 77.18. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf
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