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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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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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Angat Dam water level drops further to 159.43 meters

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

File photo: Image of Angat Dam taken on June 21, 2019

Angat Dam water level further dropped from the 160-meter critical level.

From the water level of 159.78 meters last Saturday morning (June 22), it slightly dropped to 159.43 meters as of 6:00 a.m. on Sunday (June 23).

Due to this the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said they will again reduce water allocation in Metro Manila to 36 cubic meters per second (cms).

Customers of water concessionaires in Metro Manila will have to experience longer water supple interruptions.

Maynilad posted on Facebook their advisory on water interruption schedule in several areas. Some of these places will experience water interruption for as long as 15 hours. Manila Water on the other hand can take up to 17 hours.

Both water concessionaires said they will continue implementing water interruptions while waiting for rains that can resolve the problem in Angat Dam.

According to the NWRB, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has reported that there will be possible rains at Angat Dam by July.

“Base po sa latest projection ng PAGASA ngayong July magkakaroon po ng ,ga significant rainfall sa Angat Water shed but we are hoping that in July dating po ng mas maaga iyan para po, makapabalik na makapag-recharge iyong tubig sa Angat Dam at mag-increase na iyong level (Based on the latest projection of PAGASA this July, there will be a significant rainfall in Angat Water shed but we are hoping that it will come earlier so the Angat Dam can recharge and increase its water level),” according to NWRB Executive Director Dr. Servillo David Jr.

PAGASA estimates that two to three typhoons are needed to fill the Angat Water shed.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Group urges Gov’t to limit water usage in pools, other businesses amid supply woes

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

Photo by Nelly Aran from Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – A labor group on Saturday (June 22) called on the national government to intervene in the worsening water supply issues in Metro Manila due to the rapidly dropping water level at Angat Dam.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) suggested for the government to limit the usage of water-intensive facilities, such as swimming pools and other businesses until the water at Angat dam stabilizes.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Saturday reported that Angat Dam’s water level dropped to 159.78 meters.

“Because water is a basic requirement for the 13 million Metro Manila residents, it must be given priority over the profit margin of businesses,” the group said in a statement.

“To address the intermittent water supply required to households of Metro Manila, government must intercede to limit the water usage of water-intensive facilities and businesses such as golf courses, swimming pools and water fountains,” it added.

The group estimated there are about 15 golf courses in areas covered by both water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water, including publicly-owned Veterans and Camp Aguinaldo golf courses in Quezon City and the Army and Navy golf clubs in Fort Bonifacio.

There are also over 10,000 swimming pools all over the metropolis, including water parks, swimming resorts, club houses, indoor pools of condominiums and private pools in posh subdivisions.

“Why should the people stand in line for water rations on a daily basis when the elite consume so much water for their luxuries? Why are the poor again the first to sacrifice during a water crisis when they did not benefit when both Maynilad and Manila Water were brimming with profit,” said BMP leader Leody De Guzman in a statement.

The BMP also called for the suspension of building permits for new businesses which require huge amounts of water until Angat dam water level stabilizes.

The group also called on the government, particularly the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to study the deployment of more radical contingency measures to address the worsening water supply in Metro Manila as its public appeal for water conservation is not enough.

The BMP is also pushing for the reversal of the policy of water privatization that resulted into the concession of the operations of the Metropolitan Wateworks and Sewerage Systems (MWSS).

The group claims the privatization of Metro Manila’s water supply did not improve services and sustain the needs of Metro Manila residents.

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