Senators find ‘unfair’ provisions in water concession deals

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019   •   299

MANILA, Philippines – Several provisions of the concession agreement with Maynilad and Manila Water seem unfavorable to the government, according to some senators.

Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go noted Manila Water’s violations in the provisions of the contract which the water company must adhere to, such as providing efficient wastewater treatment facilities across the metropolis.

“Manila Water has yet to comply with its contractual obligation to provide for sewerage and wastewater treatment facilities in Metro Manila, which clearly constitutes a breach of the concession agreement,” he said.

Even Senator Cynthia Villar believes scrutiny of the concession agreement is very much necessary particularly the provision that deals with the water rate adjustments.

Iyong sinasabi na (the part where they said) we have no control over water concessionaires and if the government doesn’t agree to the rate increase, then the government will have to pay, dapat pinag-uusapan iyong rate. Dapat dyina-justify mo iyong rate (the rate must be discussed. You have to justify your rate,)“ Villar argued.

The two senators expressed support for recommendations to review all contracts entered into by the government and make sure that they do not compromise the welfare and rights of the Filipino people. MNP (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Manila Water continues implementation of rotational water service interruption through dry season

Maris Federez   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — More than one million Manila Water customers will be affected by the rotational water service interruption that the water concessionaire started on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Manila Water said this is due to the low water allocation, as well as its preparation for the dry season.

“So, ineexpect natin na bababa nang husto ang level ng dam. So, this early, kailangan paghandaan natin ‘yon para ‘yong limitadong supply na nakukuha natin sa Angat Dam na siyang nagsu-supply ng 96, 97 percent ng tubig para sa Metro Manila, mas ma-manage natin ng mabuti at nang tayo ay makatawid ngayong summer hanggang sa bago dumating uli ‘yong tag-ulan,” Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

In January, the water company started lowering the pressure of the water distributed to households in Metro Manila and Rizal province. This is done in off-peak hours or from 10 in the evening to 6 in the morning.

“While ‘yung interruption na binanggit natin is about 4 to 10 hours. In reality, mas maikli dahil nga madaling araw lang natin gagawin. So, generally, mga 11 to about 3 to 4 in the morning lang ito kung saan hindi nila mararamdaman,” Sevilla said.

He added that the schedule and the affected areas of the water service interruption can be found on the company’s Facebook page.

Manila Water added that the rotational water service interruption will continue as long as the water allocation by the National Water Resources Board is still below normal.

For the past several months, the water allocated to Manila Water is just 42 cubic meters per second —much lower than the normal allocation of 46 cubic meters per second.

As of 8:00 AM on Friday, the water level in Angat dam was at 202.48 meters.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the rain brought by the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan contributed to the rise of the water level in Angat.

To date, Metro Manila will still have a reduced water allocation.

The NWRB said the board will still have to discuss how much water will be allocated in Metro Manila in the coming months. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Maynilad announces 4-18 hour rotational water interruptions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2020

Maynilad has announced that there will be rotational water interruptions from 4 to 8 hours due to the low water level in Angat and Ipo dam.

From 101 meters — which is the maintaining level of Ipo Dam— it dropped to 100.20 meters as of Wednesday (February 5) at 6:00 a.m.

Maynilad Spokesperson Grace Laxamana said it would take time for the water supply to be delivered to customers’ houses due to the low water level in the said dams.

“So kapag mabagal iyong treatment process siyempre mas mabagal rin ang pagpuno ng mga reservoirs natin bago natin mai-deliver sa mga customer natin, (So if the treatment process is slow, it will take time to fill the reservoirs before it can be delivered to our customers),” she said.

Around 80 percent of Maynilad’s customers will experience the rotational water interruption.

Maynilad advises its customers to take note of the rotational service interruption in their area and make sure to conserve water.

“Sinisiguro natin na magkakaroon naman sila araw-araw ng tubig kaya po huwag silang mag-hoard at ipunin lamang iyong kinakailangan nila for the whole day (We are ensuring [customers] will have enough water supply everyday so they should not hoard and just reserve enough water for the whole day),” Laxamana said.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Villar denies family is interested in taking over Metro Manila water distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar has denied allegations that his family has interest in taking over the water distribution sector in Metro Manila.

When asked during a press briefing at Malacañang, Villar responded, “No.”

“I’m not in any position to answers questions regarding those I have no involvement,” he added.

Villar’s family owns the PrimeWater Infrastructure Corporation, which provides water supply in several provinces.

President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Maynilad and Manila Water that he would revoke the present water contracts if they refuse to agree with the new terms presented by the government.

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