In this March 26, 2019 photo, Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand dela Cruz holds a press conference. Dela Cruz said he will abide by the decision of the MWSS to pay a financial penalty over the water supply mess in Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.
The STAR/Boy Santos, File
MWSS fines Manila Water P1.15 billion over water shortage
( - April 24, 2019 - 8:58am

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has sanctioned private water concessionaire Manila Water over the water shortage in Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.

Government regulators fined the Ayala-led water service provider with an estimated P1.15 billion, according to a report from The STAR.

The MWSS earlier confirmed that Manila Water violated its obligation under the concession agreement to provide uninterrupted service to its customers in the east concession zone.

Following the supply mess, Manila Water announced that it would be waiving the minimum or basic charge for March.

The voluntary and one-time bill waiver scheme covers the first 10 cubic meters consumed each month.

"This minimum charge ranges for our lifeline customers of P76 but it also goes to all kinds of customers — lifeline, domestic, semi-domestic, commercial, industrial so it ranges from P76 to P656 for industrial customers, which represents the 10 cubic meters," Manila Water CEO Ferdinand dela Cruz earlier said.

The penalties imposed on the Ayala-led water concessionaire are on top of the nearly P500 million that will be returned to consumers through its one-time bill waiver scheme.

Dela Ceuz said Manila Water will abide by the decision of the MWSS to impose a financial penalty upon the recommendation of the regulatory office. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with reports from Louise Maureen Simeon

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 24, 2019 - 8:50pm

An environmental watch group advises the public to conserve water all the more as parts of the country grapple with the effects of drought brought by the onset of El Niño.

In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition calls on Metro Manila households to take water conservation more seriously while also calling on establishments to intensify water conservation measures.

“We join our water authorities in asking household, businesses and government institutions in Metro Manila to use water more wisely amid the declining water level in Angat, Ipo and La Mesa Dams,” Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste national coordinator, says.

She adds: “Let us all aim for zero water waste to reduce the impacts of low water supply during the summer months to the people, especially the poor, and the environment.”

The water level in La Mesa Dam is now below critical level at 68.93 meters due to the summer season and the El Niño phenomenon.

April 24, 2019 - 8:49pm

Manila Water President Ferdinand dela Cruz says in a statement that he will abide by the decision of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to pay a financial penalty upon over its momentary inability to meet its service obligations to provide round-the-clock water supply to consumers.

The MWSS board has sanctioned Manila Water Company Inc. with a total of P1.134 billion fine and an additional P600 million fund for development of a new water supply source following the water shortage last month that affected parts of Metro Manila and neighboring towns.

April 24, 2019 - 8:39am

The imposition of penalties on Manila Water was due to its failure to comply with Article 10.4 of the concession agreement or the 24-hour available supply in its service areas.

April 24, 2019 - 8:34am

The MWSS Board sanctions Ayala-led Manila Water with P1.15 billion in fines following the supply mess last month. 

— The STAR/Maureen Simeon

April 16, 2019 - 11:34am

Manila Water says it accepted the resignation of Chief Operating Officer for Operations Geodino Carpio amid the water shortage that recently hit parts of Manila and Rizal.

The firm has appointed Abelardo Basilio as acting COO for Manila Water Operations.

March 26, 2019 - 5:04pm

The recent water shortage in parts of Manila and Rizal show that the same issues that were used to argue for privatization remain in the system of water governance, Freedom from Debt Coalition says in a statement.

It says lawmakers at parallel hearings at the House and Senate found the current system inefficient and mismanaged.

"In addition, the hearings pounded  on the failure of  Manila  Water and  the  MWSS to anticipate the  water shortage and  coordinate plans  on how to prevent it. There are also criticisms on how water has become expensive through the years; how the two private concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, are still unable to provide water service to all, the poor households in  particular; and how these companies have been raking in, with Manila Water reporting a net income of  P6.5 billion in 2018 alone," it also says.

"But are these not the same issues – inefficiency, mismanagement and incompetence --  that were raised two decades ago by those who pushed  for the  passage of  Republic Act No. 8041 or  the  Water Crisis  Act of  1995? Led by the World Bank, the  neo-liberal economists and  their partner technocrats in government argued loudly that the delivery of water and other essential public services should be transferred to the “more efficient” private sector," FDC also says.

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