DOJ denies conflict of interest in review of water concession deals
Robie de Guzman • December 12, 2019 • 469
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday denied allegations of conflict of interest in the ongoing review of the water concession deal between the government of Maynilad and Manila Water.
The allegations surfaced following news reports that Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar was part of the team that reviewed the water supply agreements.
Aglipay-Villar is the wife of Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, whose family owns the Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation, one of the utility firms that may possibly become a player to replace Maynilad and Manila Water when their contract ends in 2022.
Guevarra said he does not know where these kinds of allegations came from. He also said that he led the review of water deals.
“Siyempre as SOJ, ako ang head ng review team at ginagamit ko diyan, nag-assist ng review, naturally legal staff ng DOJ. Sa office ng state counsel so sila ang nag-review niyan with the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. So, yung units na yun, nagkataon lang under the supervision ni Usec. Emmeline Villar kasi may mga distribution ng work ng ng mga usecs ng DOJ,” he told reporters in an event in Manila Thursday morning.
Guevarra said the DOJ team found onerous provisions in the contracts signed in 1997 and recommended its removal as well as the crafting of new deal that would be advantageous to the public.
“Believe me when I say that any good lawyer will see the inequitable provisions in the water concession agreements, and the fact the Usec. Emmeline Villar is part of the DOJ review team is totally irrelevant,” he said.
Aglipay-Villar, a former congresswoman, also denied the allegations, adding that the DOJ conducted a disinterested review of the concession agreements. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – Nagtakda na ng deadline ang Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) para sa pagbabayad ng water bills na halos tatlong buwang naipon dahil sa ipinatutupad na community quarantine.
Sa panayam ng UNTV program na Serbisyong Bayanihan ngayong Miyerkules, sinabi ni MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Ty na mayroong hanggang Hulyo 31 para magbayad ng bill ang mga kumukonsumo ng 10 cubic meters pababa kada buwan.
Ang mga gumagamit naman ng tubig na mahigit sa 10 cubic meters kada buwan ay may palugit hanggang Agosto 31.
Pagpapauna ni Ty, asahan na ng mga consumer ang bahagyang pagtaas ng bill lalo’t panahon ngayon ng tag-init at marami ang nasa loob ng kani-kanilang mga tahanan kaya mataas ang konsumo sa tubig.
“Sana maintindihan natin, itong water bill na ito halos lahat sa mga consumer ay ito po yung water bill nila for March, April and May. During summer season din po ito, so mas mainit, mas madami ang consumption ng mga tao at alam natin since work from home halos lahat consumer,” aniya.
Nilinaw naman ng opisyal na puwede namang utay-utayin ng mga consumer ang pagbabayad sa bill nila sa Manila Water at Maynilad.
Sinabi rin ni Ty na sa Hunyo 1 pa magsisimulang magbasa ng metro at maglalabas ng bill ang Maynilad at Manila Water.
Sa Agosto 1 naman sisimulan ng dalawang water concessionaires ang pamumutol sa serbisyo ng mga hindi makapagbabayad ng kanilang bill para sa mga kumu-konsumo ng 10 cubic meters pababa.
Setyembre 1 naman ang schedule ng service disconnection para sa mahigit 10 cubic meters ang konsumo bawat buwan.
Tiniyak naman ng MWSS na wala pa silang ipinatutupad na anumang adjustment sa singil ng tubig sa gitna ng umiiral na community quarantine.
“Importante sa atin na wala pong bills shock ayaw po natin na magulat ang ating mga consumers na bigla nalang lalaki ang kanilang water bill,” ani Ty. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)
Maynilad and Manila Water has assured the public they will be able to provide enough water supply amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.
This is despite the continuous water level reduction in Angat Dam.
According to Maynilad Asst. Manager on Media Relations Grace Laxa, in order to keep providing enough water supply to their customers, they have to implement water service interruptions.
“Mayroon tayong sapat na nirarasyon sa ating mga customers. Pero iyon nga mag-ipon sila sa oras na itinakda sa kanilang lugar, (We have enough water supply rationed to our customers. But they have to fill their supplies depending on the schedule in their area)” she said.
Meanwhile, Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said they will only implement water interruptions in the evenings in order for their customers to still be able to do household chores including disinfection.
“For most times of the day ay mayroon tayong tubig, (we have water)” he said.
The water concessionaires also advise the public not to hoard water supply which could cause more problems on top of the COVID-19 threat.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad announced the latest schedule of water service interruptions for March 2020 due to the decreasing water level at Ipo Dam.
Maynilad explained that Ipo’s water level fell short of its maintaining level of 101 meters due to minimal runoffs from Ipo watershed in recent days.
This is despite allocation of raw water from Angat Dam remaining at 42 cubic meters per second.
Thus, Maynilad advises its customers to take note of the assigned schedule of rotational service interruptions for this month.
“Asahan ang mas mahigpit na pagpapatupad nito sa mga susunod na araw hangga’t hindi tumataas ang water elevation sa Ipo Dam (Expect strict implementation of the scheduled service interruptions in the coming days until water elevation at Ipo Dam improves),” Maynilad’s advisory said.
For this reason, the water concessionaire reminds affected residents to conserve water and store enough amount for domestic needs. (Complete list HERE.)
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