PCCI eases stance on Manila Water
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest business group has changed its tune on the call for more accountability from Manila Water Co. Inc. over the water shortage, but urged for long term solutions to prevent a repeat of the problem and have better management of water resources.

In a statement, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Alegria Sibal – Limjoco welcomed Manila Water’s move of owning up to its shortcoming and making more water available to consumers in its service area.

“It takes great courage to admit such grave responsibility.  The actions of Manila Water simply proved how much they value their stakeholders,” she said.

During the House of Representatives’ inquiry on the water supply issue on Monday, Manila Water chief executive officer Ferdinand dela Cruz apologized for the shortage and said he is ready to resign due to the unexpected drop in the water service levels.

PCCI said earlier this week there must be some form of reckoning on the issue as Manila Water failed to manage and prevent a water shortage which has  affected businesses and the economy.

While PCCI commended Manila Water for its action and the government’s move to address the issue by ordering the release of water supply from Angat Dam, the group said there is a need to come up with long term measures to the water supply shortage.

“The shortage we are experiencing now is obviously a cause for alarm,” Limjoco said.

This, as she said the issue is not just hurting consumers, but may also affect the country’s competitiveness in terms of attracting investments.

As water is an important input for industries, she said long term measures that will effectively and efficiently manage and utilize the country’s water resources are necessary.

If no measures are taken to address the current supply shortage, the water crisis experienced now could become a normal occurrence in the future, PCCI stressed.

Lawmakers earlier said consumers should be compensated by Manila Water for the service interruptions.

Manila Water provides water and used water services to over six million people.

Its concession area covers Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, most parts of Quezon City, San Andres and Sta. Ana in Manila, as well as in cities and towns in Rizal such as  Angono, Antipolo, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Cardona, Jalajala, Morong, Pililia, Rodriguez, San Mateo, Tanay, Taytay and Teresa.

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