Residents in Taytay, Rizal fight over water supply amid week-long shortage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2019   •   1752

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Tensions are rising as several residents of Brgy. Muzon in Taytay, Rizal continue to suffer zero water supply for over a week.

According to Barangay Chairman Frank Luster Santos, residents are becoming aggressive towards local authorities and at each other over rations from Manila Water.

“Ang problema lang hinaharang ng mga tao mismo [trak ng tubig]. Kung haharangin po nila at inaaway po kami, pati ang Manila Water po ay inaaway din po (The problem is, residents are trying to corner the truck of water. When we block them, they turn on us and the personnel of Manila Water),” he said.

One of the residents, Fatima Co said the ration delivered by Manila Water doesn’t even reach their area.

“Pero member din naman kami ng Manila Water. Kung sino ang malakas iyon ang maano, paano kami doon sa dulo, wala na. Hindi na kami nadadatnan ng tubig, (We are members of Manila Water too, but only those with personal connections to influential people get water first. What about us, nothing is left for us)” she said.

Co adds they have been experiencing water interruptions for a month.

Meanwhile, in a text a message to UNTV, Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said that barangay Muzon continue to experience lack of water supply because of their steep location.

“We hope to improve the water supply situation in the next few days after the completion of the testing of the booster and pipe,” he said

Residents like Co had no choice but to collect water from a nearby spring.

However, the line to the spring is also long. There is also no assurance that it is safe to drink. Residents use the water for laundry and bath. But, according to some residents, if left with no choice, they would use it for drinking too.

Other residents would also pay someone just to carry heavy water containers uphill. They pay P5 to P120 depending on the water containers to be carried.

Hermy Obinguar, one of the residents, said their dilemma forces them to have unnecessary expenses.

“Ang budget sira. Imbis na ipangbili na lang ng ulam, pagkain, ibabayad pa namin para buhatin ang tubig namin, (Our budget is ruined. Instead of buying food, we pay someone just to carry our water),” he said.

Barangay Chairman Santos said they are trying to resolve the water problem but all they can do for now is remind residents to conserve water.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

Maynilad, Manila Water promise sufficient supply in M. Manila amid health emergency

Marje Pelayo   •   March 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water assured the public on Thursday (March 12) that water supply remains sufficient amid ongoing health crisis due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The water companies noted, however, that regular water service interruptions in Metro Manila and nearby areas will still be in effect to ensure even distribution of water reserve in Angat Dam.

Health experts are constantly reminding the public of proper hand washing and other hygienic measures to combat COVID-19.

Specifically, washing of hands for 20 seconds is the best way recommended.

As dry season draws near, government experts are concerned of the depleting water supply in Angat Dam, the main source of domestic water for Metro Manila and nearby areas.

Thus, water concessionaires need to sustain service interruptions given that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has not forecast any possibility of sudden rainfall for next month.

“Meron tayong sapat na nirarasyon sa ating mga customers, (We have enough rations for our customers,)” noted Maynilad’s Assistant Manager for Media Relations Grace Laxa.

“Pero iyon nga mag-ipon sila kung iyong oras na itinakda sa kanilang lugar. Magipon sila ng sapat para sa kanila, (But we advise them to store enough water based on schedule. Store only what is enough for your needs,)” she added.

Meanwhile, Manila Water said they opted to impose service interruption in the evening so as not to affect their customers during peak hours in the morning.

“So ibig sahihin nito for most times of the day ay meron tayong tubig, (Meaning for most times of the day we will have water,)” explained Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

“So lahat ng gawaing bahay including disinfection, iyong madalas na paghuhugas ng kamay (ay gawin na) kasi iyan ang panahon na kumbaga labas pasok sa bahay ay may tubig, (So everything that you need to do like disinfection, proper hand washing, do it because that’s the time running water is available,)” he added.

Apart from rotational water service interruptions, water companies will also carry on with pipe repairs and additional deep well operations to augment water supply.

Amid the ongoing health crisis, the two water concessionaires appeal to their customers not to hoard water so as not to result into a more serious problem. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Maynilad, Manila Water assure enough water supply amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 11, 2020

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)

Duterte may impose drastic actions vs Maynilad, Manila Water if water shortage worsens – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned to take up drastic actions against water concessionaires in Metro Manila if water shortage worsens, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lack of action on the part of Maynilad and Manila Water may be a factor in the measures that the president may take on the problem.

These measures, according to Panelo, may include revocation of contracts to operate, and to make water concessionaires “accountable” if they are found at fault in the situation.

“I supposed the fact that they have not undertaken corrective measures that will prevent the evolution of the incoming crisis again would be a factor that would make the president decide on drastic action against them” he told reporters.

Water concessionaires, Maynilad and Manila Water have scheduled rotational water service disruptions starting last Oct. 24 to manage the supply from the main water supplier for Metro Manila, Angat Dam.

The water disruption lasts between four to ten hours for Manila Water consumers, and eight to 18 hours for Maynilad customers.

Water utility firms have explained it implemented rotational supply cuts to avoid a bigger problem with water supply next year.

“Kung magpapatuloy tayo na ibibigay natin yung parehong service level at hindi tayo magpapatupad ng water interruptions mas madaling bababa yung level ng Angat,” Manila Water spokesperson Jeric Sevilla said.

Based on the monitoring of state weather bureau, as of 6 a.m. Oct. 28, the water level at Angat dam is at 185.28 meters, slightly lower than the 185.41 meters recorded on Oct. 27.

There are only five meters left before it dips to its minimum operating level of 180 meters. The dam’s water elevation has consistently declined in the past few weeks due to lack of heavy rainfall that could raise its reserves.

Manila Water has expressed support for the planned construction of Kaliwa Dam which is seen to help allocate additional 600 million liters of water per day to Metro Manila.

“Itong Kaliwa Dam is something that we welcome, in fact, hindi lamang Kaliwa dam any other source of water na pwedeng mapagkunan ng additional sources of water supply for the next years,” Sevilla said.

However, the project construction has yet to start as the government is still in the process of reviewing its plan after receiving complaints regarding its implementation.

The Metropolitan Water Works and Sewerage System is looking at the Wawa Calawis project and the East Bay Water Supply project to improve the water supply in Metro Manila.

The Wawa Calawis project is seen to ensure water security in the metropolis as it can deliver 80 million liters per day, while the East Bay Water Supply project may be able to supply 50 million liters per day.

But these projects may become operational by 2022.

While waiting for completion, consumers in Metro Manila are urged to conserve water to manage the current supply from Angat dam and avoid a bigger problem during dry season next year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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