Manila Water president Ferdinand Dela Cruz said the initial P150 million payment waiver is seen further increasing following scope validation in the severely affected areas.
Michael Varcas
Manila Water payment waiver to reach P500 M
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala-led Manila Water Co. Inc. is expecting to return nearly half a billion to east zone customers following the recent supply mess that will likely take a toll on the firm’s bottomline for the year.

Manila Water president Ferdinand Dela Cruz said the initial P150 million payment waiver is seen further increasing following scope validation in the severely affected areas.

“It will hover around that or just slightly below that number [P500 million]. Our April billings are not over yet,” Dela Cruz said in a briefing on Monday after the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

“We will have the exact figures ready by the end of the month. But so far, our execution is okay,” he said.

This, after Manila Water decided to issue a one-time bill waiver related to consumers’ consumption last month where all customers will pay lower bills, while some will be fully waived.

The voluntary waiver is on top of the penalty that will be imposed on the water firm for its failure to provide 24-hour supply to its service areas.

The penalty, which has yet to be quantified, will be decided by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and may be in the form of a rebate.

“There is a penalty process that has been kickstarted by the MWSS Regulatory Office. We are waiting for their dispensation. The penalty MWSS will collect from us will be given to customers based on the scheme that they will design. This is on top of our voluntary waiver,” Dela Cruz said.

Manila Water has not yet received a decision from the MWSS after it gave all the requirements asked by the regulator.

Sought for comment, MWSS chief regulator Patrick Ty said the RO has already submitted everything to the board last April 5 and the announcement would be made by MWSS administrator Reynaldo Velasco.

Velasco, however, said all decisions, including penalties, would have to come from President Duterte himself.

Further, Manila Water said its net income for the year would most likely go down following added operational costs in addressing the water crisis.

As of April 21, Manila Water’s eight-hour water availability at ground floor level has reached 99.8 percent, its 12-hour at 95 percent, 16-hour at 83 percent and its 24-hour availability at 57 percent.

“We are targeting that by the end of May, we will be at regulatory standards of 24 hours at seven psi (pounds per square inch),” dela Cruz said.

Manila Water’s deficit of 150 million liters per day of water continues to be addressed following the start of the first phase of its Cardona treatment plant, additional deep wells, as well as the cross-border flow with Maynilad.

MANILA WATER CO. INC.
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