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MWSS: No need for emergency powers to solve water woes

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte in April this year castigated executives of the government’s water agency Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and its concessionaires for the widespread water crisis that affected residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Despite this, water problems have not been solved.

Instead, they have worsened as water service interruptions affect not only customers of Manila Water but even the clients of Maynilad as Angat Dam continues to dry up.

But according to MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco, there is no need for another meeting with the President to solve the current issue.

“Kahit anong gawin natin, kahit na saan tayo mag-meet, kahit saan, ang kritikal dito ay ang tubig, (Whatever we do, wherever we meet, what’s critical here is water),” noted PDDG. Reynaldo Velasco, the MWSS Administrator.

“(Madadagdagan) ba ang tubig sa Angat? Kahit na sinong superman dito kung hindi talaga uulan walang kakayanin iyan (Can we add water to Angat? Even superman cannot do it unless rains come pouring down),” he added.

The official noted that there is no need to grant the President emergency powers to resolve the problem though such authority can be used to expedite the construction of government projects such as water dams.

“Kung manghihingi tayo ng emergency power, saan tayo kukuha ng tubig? (If we ask for emergency power, where do we get water?) In case we need some emergency power, (it) is for the future, ” Velasco said.

Dams which are under construction include the Wawa Dam in Rodriguez, Rizal and Kaliwa Dam in Tanay.

The projects are now facing hurdles especially the bidding process.

The MWSS, meanwhile, appeals to the two water concessionaires to religiously implement the schedule of water service interruptions while it also asks consumers to conserve water and as much as possible store only the enough volume.

“Kasi kapag nag-ipon sila ng sobra doon baka naman maapektuhan ang reservoir ng ating mga concessionaire, (If you store more than enough water, it might affect the supply in concessionaires’ reservoirs,)” Velasco concluded. – with details from Rey Pelayo.

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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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Palace slams UN resolution as ‘grotesquely one-sided’ and ‘insulting’

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) upheld a resolution seeking to launch an international investigation on the human rights situation in the country in relation to the Philippines’s war on drugs.

During the 44th session in Geneva on Thursday (July 11), the Council adopted Iceland’s resolution to probe the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs with 18 of the 47-member human rights body voted in favor, 14 against and 15 abstentions.

This formally asked UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet “to prepare a comprehensive written report” on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

In response, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin through Ambassador Evan Garcia expressed the Philippines’ rejection of the Iceland-initiated resolution.

“The Philippines reject this resolution. It cannot in good conscience abide by it. We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution so detached from the truth on the ground,” the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN reading Locsin’s statement.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said the adoption of the ‘grotesquely one-sided’ resolution is an insult to the majority of Filipinos who expressed satisfaction on the kind of “forceful and effective” governance of President Duterte.

“The overwhelming majority of the Filipino electorate, who mercilessly crushed the intellectual and nationalist pretensions of those who peddled the bogus news, untruthful accounts and vicious propaganda on the President’s campaign against illegal drugs, are grossly and thoroughly insulted by the resolution that echoes such falsities,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Friday, July 12.

Panelo added that the resolution has no other purpose but “to embarrass the Philippines before the international community and the global audience.”

In its resolution Iceland “urges the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable in accordance with international norms and standards including those on due process and the rule of law.”

But the Palace remained firm in its stand that it is still the President who will decide on whether to allow the United Nations to proceed with the investigation.

Panelo warned that should the probe proceed impartially, the result will only lead “to the humiliation of the investigators” as well as all the proponent countries since “there never have been – nor will there ever be – state-sponsored killings” in the country.

“Any attempt to undermine our sovereignty will receive an uproarious rejection from our countrymen, it being a naked affront to their authority to run their domestic affairs they deem fit under the prevailing circumstances,” Panelo concluded.

HOW COUNTRIES VOTED?

Affirmative votes

  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Bahamas
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Croatia
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Denmark
  9. Fiji
  10. Iceland
  11. Italy
  12. Mexico
  13. Peru
  14. Slovakia
  15. Spain
  16. Ukraine
  17. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  18. Uruguay

Negative votes

  1. Angola
  2. Bahrain
  3. Cameroon
  4. China
  5. Cuba
  6. Egypt
  7. Eritrea
  8. Hungary
  9. India
  10. Iraq
  11. Philippines
  12. Qatar
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Somalia

Abstain votes

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Brazil
  4. Burkina Faso
  5. Chile
  6. Democratic Republic of Congo
  7. Japan
  8. Nepal
  9. Nigeria
  10. Pakistan
  11. Rwanda
  12. Senegal
  13. South Africa
  14. Togo
  15. Tunisia

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Maynilad accepts MWSS penalty, Las Piñas customers to receive P2,500 rebate

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Water concessionaire, Maynilad, has accepted the penalty imposed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and will provide Las Piñas customers P2,500 rebate.

“The penalty was due to Maynilad’s failure to comply with its Service Obligations under the Concession Agreement, specifically its failure to provide 24/7 water services to its customers in portions of Brgy. Captain Albert Aguilar (CAA) in Las Piñas City,” the MWSS said.

The MWSS adds that the rebate will be reflected in the August water bill until the rebate is fully expended.

According to Grace Laxa, Maynilad Spokesperson, the 1,841 connections affected will receive the P2,500 rebate.

“Our field personnel will conduct a barangay roadshow to explain the mechanics of the rebate to the customers concerned,” Laxa added.—AAC

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