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Prices of bottled water, plastic drums spike amid shortage

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

From a gallon of water costing P30, it now costs P50.

The phone in Jay Tandayo’s water station has been ringing nonstop with customers asking only one question: when will their delivery arrive?

Jay and his crew still haven’t slept after driving to Sampaloc, Manila to get water supply. The weak water pressure in Mandaluyong could no longer fill up their own tank.

In order to supplement the expenses they used for gasoline, they had no choice but to increase prices.

Because of their dedication to their customers, they are prepared for sleepless nights, even if with meager earnings.

“Mahirap po dahil naaapektuhan ang negosyo natin kaya ginagawa po namin, nag aangkat kami sa Sampaloc para continuous ang supply. Sa ngayon hindi namin masabing kumikita o nalulugi pero siguro break-even [It is difficult because our business is affected. We source our stock from Sampaloc for continuous supply. For now, we cannot say if we are earning or not, it’s more of a break-even],” Tandayo said.

Mandaluyong resident Ariel Blaza, meanwhile, is prepared to pay even up to P100 for water as long as his kids will have something to drink.

The water coming from their faucet is not drinkable.

“Gigising ka ng madaling araw para magibig ng tubig parang ihi lang lumalabas sa gripo minsan marumi pa, makalawang. Wala tayo magagawa kailangan natin ng tubig kung hindi ka naman bibili ng tubig, ano iinumin mo baka mas mahirap pa baka magkasakit ka pa lalo mas malaki gagastusin mo [You will wake up so early in the morning just to collect water but the water pressure would be weak and rusty. We cannot do anything about it because we need water. If you will not buy water, what will you drink? Worse is, you might get sick which would cost more],” he said.

Another resident, Andrea Bernasol, painstakingly carries a gallon of water to her home despite her slim physique.

The water from their faucet is also dirty so she is willing to pay for clean water.

“Wala namang magagawa, for safety na rin. Puro kasi kami babae sa bahay kaya walang choice [There’s not much we can do about it, it is for our safety. We are all women at home, so we have to carry it ourselves],” she said.

Several laundry shops and water stations in Mandaluyong have already closed due to lack of water supply.

Aside from high water prices, there is also an increase in plastic drum prices. In a residential area in the city, a plastic drum costs P350 which previously cost P150 to P200.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has warned water refilling stations that are overcharging.

“Hindi sila pwedeng magsamantala kasi papasok na ang DTI hindi por que water refilling station sila ay hindi na namin sakop siyempre the fact na binobote nila iyan para inumin papasok na ngayon ang jurisdiction ng DTI [They cannot abuse the price hike because the DTI will monitor that. Just because they are a water refilling station doesn’t mean they are not under our jurisdiction. The fact that they put water in bottles to drink, it falls under the DTI’s jurisdiction],” DTI undersecretary Ruth Castelo said.

The DTI will also inspect water refilling stations in affected areas in order to check if their price increase on bottled water is still fair. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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No water in 20 QC villages due to emergency leak repairs – Manila Water

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

The Manila Water Co. announced on Thursday that 20 villages in Quezon City will experience temporary water service interruptions as it undertakes emergency leak repairs.

In an advisory posted on its Facebook page, Manila Water said the joint leak repair and pipe interconnection/relocation at the Elliptical Road in Quezon City was due to an accidental breakage on a major pipeline caused by one of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) contractors.

“Due to an accidental breakage caused by a DPWH contractor, damaging our major pipeline at Elliptical Road corner Commonwealth Avenue (northbound) in Quezon City, Manila Water is currently undertaking emergency leak repairs which will result in temporary water service interruption,” the advisory read.

SERVICE ADVISORY: JOINT LEAK REPAIR & PIPE INTERCONNECTION/RELOCATION (MRT 7) ACTIVITIES AT ELLIPTICAL ROAD, QUEZON…

Posted by Manila Water on Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The water distributor said the repair works is expected to be completed on May 24 (Friday) at 6 a.m.

Affected villages are listed below:

  • Ramon Magsaysay
  • Alicia
  • Santo Cristo
  • Bagong Pag-asa
  • Old Capitol Site
  • Vasra
  • Project 6
  • Culiat
  • New Era 
  • Bahay Toro
  • Tandang Sora
  • Pasong Tamo
  • Central
  • Malaya
  • Pinyahan
  • Sikatuna Village
  • San Vicente
  • Teachers Village East
  • Teachers Village West
  • U.P. Village

The Manila Water said the water service interruption will affect 242,000 people in 44,056 households, commercial and business establishments.

“The interconnection of the new 900mm relocated pipeline at Elliptical Road corner North Avenue, which was previously planned for May 24 to 25, will also be undertaken at the same time to minimize impact to the affected customers,” it added.

The Manila Water advised affected residents to store enough water as some of these areas may still experience service interruptions even after the restoration “due to the still-limited raw water supply.”

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Manila Water customers to start receiving bill rebates in June

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Manila Water customers who had been affected by the water crisis in March will start receiving their rebates.

The rebates for the more than 100,000 affected customers will be reflected in the June water bill.

Based on the announcement made by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), all residents who had been affected by the crisis will receive 153.93 rebates for the 10 cubic meters of their water consumption in the month of May.

Residents in the severely affected areas who had been rendered waterless 24/7 from March 6 to 31 will be given additional 2,196.94 rebates.

In case the rebate is higher than the actual consumption, the remaining value will be applied to the next month’s water bill, or will be deducted to the previous month’s unpaid bill.

MWSS chief regulator, Atty Patrick Ty said, “the entire 534 million yun po babalik yan lahat sa publiko wala pong maiiwan o walang mapupunta sa MWSS [the entire 534 Million will be returned to the public. Nothing will be left or go to the MWSS].”

Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla, on the other hand, said, “susundin natin yun. Kaya ngayon yung rebate para sa customers amounting to 534M, we will coordinate with the regulatory office in terms of implementing yung mga mechanics at guidelines [We will abide by it. The rebates for the customers amounting to 534M will be coordinated with the regulatory office in terms of the implementation of the mechanics and guidelines].”

Customers who will receive rebates from Manila Water are from Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and several towns from Rizal.

The Water Bill Waiver Program is part of the 1.13 Billion-peso fines that was meted out on Manila Water due to its failure to supply water to its customers.

The MWSS also ordered Manila Water to put up a new facility for its water source development measures that cost 600 Million pesos.

This will prevent the incident from happening again and to allow Manila Water to come up with an alternative source of water supply.

Meanwhile, the MWSS has also issued a Notice of Service Obligation Failure to Maynilad Water Services (Maynilad) for the mounting complaints on its services.

Atty. Ty said the 15 days they gave to Maynilad for it to address its water supply problem had already lapsed.

The water regulatory board is giving Maynilad five days to refute the notice and state why they should not be meted out penalties.

Most of the complaints that the MWSS received against Maynila had come from Las Pinas, Muntinlupa and Cavite customers.

Maynilad, in a statement, insisted that the penalty has no basis. It also belied reports that its customers had experienced water interruption for 15 days.

The water company insisted that only 12 percent of its customers had experienced water supply interruption and the agency had adopted measures of rationing water in the affected areas. (with reports from Joan Nano) /mbmf

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No water in 20 Quezon City villages from May 24 to 25 —Manila Water

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

People queuing for rationed water

Residents in 20 areas in Quezon City will experience a seven-hour water service interruption starting Friday night, the Manila Water Co. announced on Monday.

The water distributor said this is due to relocation of major pipelines along Elliptical Road.

“More than 242,000 population in 20 barangays in Quezon City will experience water service interruption as Manila Water relocates its major pipeline at the corner of Elliptical Road and North Avenue to make way for the construction of the MRT 7,” it said in an advisory.

The water service interruption will be implemented from 11 p.m. on May 24 (Friday) to 6 a.m. on May 25 (Saturday).

Affected areas are as follows:

  • Bagong Pag-asa
  • Bahay Toro
  • Alicia
  • Old Capitol Site
  • Pasong Tamo
  • Pinyahan
  • Central Culiat
  • Malaya
  • New Era
  • Project 6
  • Ramon Magsaysay
  • San Vicente
  • Santo Cristo
  • Sikatuna Village
  • Tandang Sora
  • Teachers Village East
  • Teachers Village West
  • UP Village
  • Vasra

Manila Water advised affected residents to store enough water as some of these areas may still experience service interruptions even after the restoration due to limited water supply.

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