Maynilad: No water in parts of Metro Manila, Bacoor next week

Robie de Guzman   •   April 11, 2019   •   2970

MANILA, Philippines – Parts of Metro Manila and Cavite will experience water service interruptions during the Lenten break, Maynilad Water Services Inc. announced on Thursday (April 11).

On its official Facebook page, Maynilad released a list of barangays in Valenzuela, Malabon, Navotas, Quezon City, Manila, Parañaque, Pasay, Las Piñas and Bacoor City in Cavite that will temporarily have no water supply next week.

Maynilad will be conducting several water network enhancement activities—including facility maintenance works, pipe…

Posted by Maynilad Water Services, Inc. on Wednesday, 10 April 2019

The water service interruptions will begin on April 16 (Tuesday) to April 20 (Saturday).

The water concessionaire said several water network enhancement activities will be done during these dates in line with continuous efforts to improve water services in the western zone. These include facility maintenance works, pipe decommissioning and interconnections, and valve replacements.

“The activities will be done during the holy week, when fewer customers are expected to be home, thus lessening the impact of service interruptions on water consumers,” Maynilad said.

“Besides these major activities, Maynilad will also take the opportunity to conduct smaller, parallel activities like leak detection and leak repairs, which would otherwise require the implementation of separate service disruptions,” it added.

The utility company also said that the duration of service interruption will differ per area.

“Some will have no water for five hours only, while others will have no water for 30 hours,” Maynilad Water Supply Operations Head, Engr. Ronaldo Padua said in a statement.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. These activities are being done so we can continue to improve the water infrastructure and ensure better water services for the long-term,” he added.

Affected customers are encouraged to store water for at least three days prior to the scheduled service interruption.

Maynilad said this is to prevent simultaneous heavy withdrawals of water from its pipelines, which can reduce water pressure and cause some customers to have no water earlier than scheduled.

Maynilad also assured to deploy 40 water tankers to deliver water to affected areas when necessary. – Robie de Guzman

Lawmaker pushes to legalize ‘habal-habal’ ops amid Metro Manila traffic woes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing to make the operations of “habal-habal”, or motorcycle-for-hire, legal amid worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1025 or Motorcycles-for-hire Act, Senator Sonny Angara proposes to classify motorcycles-for-hire as public transportation, amending Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The code only allows the registration of motorcycles for either private or government and prohibits its listing as a vehicle for hire.

Under the proposed amendment, Angara wants motorcycles to be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as ‘for hire’ and may be used as a commercial vehicle to transport passengers and goods.

Angara’s proposal comes after the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) implemented partial operations while it is repairing its power rectifiers that were damaged after it caught fire early this month.

“Commuting in Metro Manila has become very challenging. A typical commuter has to allocate at least two hours to get to work or school and that is if their regular modes of transport are available. What if the MRT breaks down? Kulang pa ang dalawang oras mo sa byahe,” he said in a statement.

“Tulad nitong nangyari sa LRT-2 na nasunog. Libo libong Pilipino ang naperwisyo nito at karamihan sa kanila ay habal na ang sinasakyan para mas mabilis makarating sa destinasyon nila at mas mura din ito kumpara sa Grab,” he added.

According to Angara, the heavy traffic and glitches in mass transit systems in Metro Manila have forced some commuters to look for other transportation options such as hiring commercial motorcycles even if it is considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“The demand for this service simply cannot be ignored, which is why I have filed a bill seeking to legalize the operation of motorcycles-for-hire,” he said.

Angara cited the case of motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas, which was recently allowed to operate for six months as part of a pilot-run of ‘motorcycle taxis.

The Department of Transportation earlier said this is to help lawmakers finalize proposals on motorcycle ride booking.

Under the bill, a motorcycle may register for transporting passengers if it has a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters and a backbone-type built.

The LTO will be tasked to ensure the roadworthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before they are registered.

To further ensure their safety, no modifications on the motorcycles will be allowed, except for the installation, based on safe engineering design specifications, of motorcycle luggage carriers, saddlebags, step boards or footpegs and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device.

Maynilad warns of possible water service interruption in coming days

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad Water Services Inc. on Tuesday warned its customers it may implement daily rotational water service interruptions in the coming days due to the declining water levels in Angat and Ipo dams.

In a statement, Maynilad said the water levels at Angat and Ipo watersheds are dropping due to scant rains in the past few days.

The west zone water concessionaire explained that because the current water allocation from Angat dam remains at 40 cubic meters per second, the water supply entering Ipo dam and Maynilad’s treatment facilities were not sufficient.

The normal water allocation is 48 cms.

If their reservoirs will not be replenished, and water levels at Angat and Ipo dams remain low, Maynilad said it may implement rotational water service interruption in the following days.

The utility firm advised customers to visit its social media accounts for the final schedule of water service interruption, which may be posted on Wednesday, October 16.

“Tandaan ang daily service interruption schedule sa inyong lugar at paghandaan ito, dahil posibleng maipatupad na ito sa mga suusnod na araw depende sa aktwal na pag-ulan na magaganap sa Angat at Ipo watersheds,”

It also reminded customers to store enough water prior to the scheduled interruption in their area.

MWSS says Manila Water, Maynilad not allowed to pass on penalties to consumers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Friday clarified that Maynilad and Manila Water are not allowed to pass on to consumers any amount of financial penalties that the Supreme Court imposed for violation of environmental laws.

The Supreme Court earlier imposed more than P900 million fine for each concessionaire, as well as the MWSS, for their non-compliance of the Clean Water Act over their failure to put up sewage lines and sewage treatment facilities in the previous years.

They were also ordered to pay a fine of P322,000 per day for every day of their non-compliance with the Clean Water Act.

“The agency reassures the public that financial penalties imposed by the SC may not be passed on to consumers. It is clearly provided for in the concession agreement,” MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said. The SC in its decision last August also ordered the MWSS to pay a fine for the violation.

The MWSS made the statement following reports that water rates will increase as a result of the SC ruling.

Ty assured that whatever additional costs that concessionaires will bear in order to comply with the high court’s ruling will not be passed on to consumers until the next rate rebasing.

“We also audit them and we also engage a third-party audit firm to audit the books of the concessionaires to ensure that they will not be able to recover this expense,” he said.

The chief regulator, however, said that whatever prudent and efficient expense that concessionaires may incur in completing facilities and building of sewerage treatment plants in compliance with the court’s ruling may be passed on to consumers but only after the next rate rebasing in 2023.

“We can also do an expiration payment. that means the two concessionaires would be able to recover the said expense at the end of their concession terms instead of a having it increase, a sudden increase in the water rates,” Ty said.

“’Pag hindi po to prudent and efficient, hindi po ito papayagan na ipasa sa publiko,” he added.

Rate rebasing is done every five years. It is a review of the water utilities’ past performance and projection of their future cash flows to set the water rates at a level that would allow concessionaires to recover their expenditures and earn a rate of return referred by the concession agreements as the appropriate discount rate.

Manila Water on Friday clarified that the company never stated it will pass on fines to consumers, adding that the 780-percent increase included in its motion for reconsideration against the ruling “is what it would have cost to build wastewater facilities to comply with the Supreme Court Decision subject of our Motion for Reconsideration.”

Maynilad and Manila Water have filed separate appeal in court. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)  

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