Senate panel sets probe on water franchises for Sept. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   August 31, 2021   •   327

MANILA, Philippines – A Senate panel is set to tackle this week the franchise applications of concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Company.

The Senate committee on public services will conduct the virtual inquiry on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“It is the goal of our committee to ensure that the franchise applicants will indeed put the welfare of our people first,” Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the committee, said in a statement.

The senator earlier assured that the bills will go through a fine-tooth comb and challenged the applicants not only to provide access to safe and clean water, but also root out the inconvenience of constant water interruptions.

Citing 2013 and 2016 studies, Poe said the Asian Development Bank has rated the country’s water security at the bottom quarter out of 48 Asia-Pacific countries, with poor governance as the main cause, not water scarcity.

Currently, 15 million Filipinos still do not have access to water while more than 55 people die every day from water-related causes, she added.

“Now more than ever, access to safe and affordable water is basic and crucial in our fight to douse the risks and perils of the unseen virus,” Poe said.

Maynilad Water services the west zone area of Metro Manila and the province of Cavite while Manila Water maintains the waterworks and sewerage system in the east zone and the province of Rizal.

Among the guests invited to the hearing are some officials from the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Manila Water, Maynilad, Philippine Competition Commission, Department of Justice, and some representatives from consumer groups.

Pangilinan proposes expansion of fuel subsidy to other PUV drivers in 2022

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan wants the coverage of the government’s fuel subsidy beneficiaries to be expanded next year once the prices of petroleum products increase anew.

During the Senate deliberation on the 2022 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Pangilinan proposed that a special provision be added to the General Appropriations Bill for 2022.

Pangilinan said this will extend the coverage of the Pantawid Pasada Program to public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers once the prices of crude oil in the world market go up to USD 80 per barrel.

“It can or may include taxi, tricycle drivers, ride-hailing, delivery services considering that we are still in a state of emergency,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the fuel subsidy is only limited to legitimate public utility jeepney franchise grantees.

Senator Grace Poe who sponsored the DOTr’s budget agreed to Pangilinan’s proposal.

The DOTr’s proposed 2022 budget for its fuel subsidy program is at Php5-billion.

“The aim of this Php5 billion is for 365,000 units of PUV to be subsidized at 13,500 per unit. But if we can expand the program so that those in the other types of PUV can be covered that would certainly be welcome if we can find funding for that,” Poe said.

Transport group, Pasang Masda, welcomed this Senate initiative.

“Maganda na yung may mga initiative na ganito na talagang mayroon silang mga magandang programa para sa mga drivers ng pampublikong sasakyan. Ako’y nagpapasalamat dito,” said Pasang Masda president Obet Martin.

Martin, however, said drivers are still awaiting the fuel subsidy for this year.

He also called on Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Martin Delgra regarding the implementation of fuel discounts in select gasoline stations.

“Ang ceiling na hinihingi namin P3 hanggang P5 kung makakaya nila hanggang sa mataas lang ang presyo ng petroleum products. Eh ngayon nga medyo bumababa na, eh hindi pa rin namin nararamdaman ‘to,” Martin said.

The group also hopes that the government’s free ride project will continue in 2022.

The DOTr has allotted around Php10-billion budget for the service contracting program for 2022.

Poe said the Senate Committee on Public Services will look closely at the transportation department’s implementation of its programs to ensure that PUV drivers are well-protected. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Maynilad defers pipe realignment activity, reschedules water service interruption

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  Maynilad Water Services Incorporated (Maynilad) will defer its scheduled pipe realignment activity along Sobriedad Street corner Cristobal Street in Manila that was initially set for October 25 to 28.

The new time frame for the pipe realignment activity is from October 29 to November 1.

Maynilad said the pipe realignment activity is in preparation for the flood control project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The water concessionaire said that the setting of new schedule was prompted by requests from residents in areas in Manila and Cavite that will be affected by the water service interruption as a result of the said activity.

Affected residents have requested that they be given more time to store enough water and prepare for the service interruption.

“Kami ay nakipag-ugnayan sa DPWH at MWSS ukol sa nasabing mga request, at napagdesisyunan na iurong ng bahagya ang implementasyon nito,” Maynilad said.

Maynilad added that except for the schedule, affected areas of the water service interruption remain the same.

For complete list of schedule of water service interruption, click here. —/mbmf

2.9M Maynilad customers, mawawalan ng supply ng tubig sa susunod ng linggo

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Mawawalan ng supply ng tubig ang nasa 2.9 milyong customer ng Maynilad sa susunod na linggo.

Nag abiso na ang Maynilad sa kanilang mga customer hinggil sa ipatutupad na water service interruptions na naka-schedule mula Oktubre 25 hanggang 28.

Bunsod ito ng gagawing pipe realignment sa bahagi ng Sobriedad corner Cristobal Streets sa Sampaloc, Manila na sisimulan sa Lunes.

Ayon sa Maynilad, ang nasabing tubo ay tatamaan ng gagawing flood control project ng Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) kaya’t kinakailangang baguhin ang linya.

Isasabay na rin ang iba pang maitenance works sa iba pang kalapit na planta at linya ng tubig.

Partikular na mawawalang ng supply ng tubig ang mga sumusunod na lugar:

  • Manila
  • Las Piñas
  • Parañaque
  • Makati
  • Pasay
  • Cavite City
  • Imus
  • Bacoor
  • Noveleta
  • Rosario
  • Kawit

Ayon kay Maynilad Water Supply Operations Head Ronald Padua, magkakaroon ng hiwa-hiwalay na schedule ang water service interruptions sa ibang mga lugar, kaya’t may mga oras pa rin na magkakaroon sila ng tubig.

Subalit, para sa mga residente sa Maynila, tatagal ng tatlo hanggang apat na araw silang mawawalan ng tubig, partikular ang malapit sa mismong gagawing pipe realignment.

Kaugnay nito magde-deploy ang Maynilad ng 60 water tanker sa mga apektadong lugar.

Prayoridad na rarasyunan ng tubig ang mga ospital at iba pang medical facilities na apektado ng water service interruptions.

“Kaya rin po namin maagang inabisuhan yung aming mga customers na maapektuhan para naman po may enough time pa po para makapag-ipon sila nung gagamitin nila for that 24-hour duration na mawawaln ng tubig. So ang nakikita po namin ang deployment ng water tankers ay mako-concentrate po karamihan dun sa mga areas sa Sampaloc, Manila na halos 3 araw po na wawalang ng tubig ng tuloy-tuloy,” ani Padua.

Nakipagugnayan na rin ang Maynilad sa mga local government unit at mga apektadong barangay para maabisuhan ang mga residente na maagang makapag imbak ng tubig.

“Siyempre, pressured kami doon kasi unang-una, kahit naman sino pag nawalan ng tubig sa isang tahanan napakahirap kumilos. So far, nakipag coordinate din kami sa iba’t ibang agency like BFP para sa water supply. Sakaling hindi man sasapat yung mga iipunin or naipon nila doon tayo hihingi ng tulong,” ayon sa chairman ng Barangay 440 na si Darwin Capulong.

Para sa kumpletong listahan ng mga apektadong lugar at schedule ng water service interruption, maaring bisitahin ng mga customer ang official website ng Maynilad na www.mayniladwater.com.ph, ang mga social media page nito, at ang hotline numbers 1626 (Metro Manila) and 1-800-100037 (Cavite) ng water concessionaire. —/mbmf (mula sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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