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MWSS-RO announces P323 bill rebate in April for affected Maynilad customers

Customers of Maynilad Water Services Inc. within the Putatan Water Treatment Plant (PWTP) Supply Zone affected by prolonged water service interruptions (WSI) shall expect at least P323 bill rebate next month as the regulatory office of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) implements the financial penalty slapped against the water concessionaire.

Late last month, the MWSS-Regulatory Office announced it is set to implement financial penalty on Maynilad in the form of bill rebates to affected Maynilad customers within the PWTP’s Supply Zone by April.

In a statement, MWSS-RO chief regulator Patrick Ty said the agency, through its Resolution No. 2022-02-CA, resolved to impose a financial penalty amounting to P63,973,362.00 against the west zone water concessionaire “for its unusual and prolonged WSIs from December 2021 to February 2022, attributable to the failure of its Putatan Water Treatment Plants (PWTP).”

During the said period, Maynilad Water implemented WSIs at the supply zone of its PWTP in four cities in Metro Manila, namely Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Pasay; and in five cities and municipalities in the province of Cavite —cities of Bacoor, Imus, and Cavite; and municipalities  of Rosario and Noveleta.

During the public information drive on the rebate program, MWSS-RO deputy administrator Evelyn Agustin said 198,315 customers or water service connections were qualified for the P323 rebate.

The financial penalty was computed based on the average daily consumption of the affected customers against the volume deficit per hour and pressure due to the prolonged WSI and the cost of such deficit per million liters a day (MLD) divided among the almost 200,000 affected customers.

The financial penalty on Maynilad will be reflected as “rebate” in the statement of accounts or bills of affected customers next month.

Ty said that in January, The MWSS-RO conducted an investigation to determine whether there is a ground to declare Maynilad to have failed contractually on its service obligations, and to impose the appropriate penalties on the Concessionaire, in relation to the said WSIs.

“Based on the evidence gathered from its investigation, the MWSS-RO concluded that Maynilad failed to meet its Service Obligation of ensuring the availability of an uninterrupted 24 hour supply of water at seven pounds per square inch (psi) minimum pressure to all connected Customers in its Service Area,” he said.

“Customers within the PWTP Supply Zone were found to have been deprived of water service obligation for at least 15 days, which adversely impacted their health and welfare,” he added.

Comply with decision

Maynilad earlier said it will comply with the MWSS decision while maintaining that the PWTP’s production was hit by the quality of water in the Laguna Lake.

“Maynilad will abide by the MWSS Regulatory Office’s decision to impose a penalty for the service interruptions in the southern part of our concession, which happened after the combined effect of algal blooms and prolonged turbidity in Laguna Lake hampered the water production of our Putatan Treatment Plants,” the statement read.

“We wish to inform the public that our water service in the south has already been ramping up over the last few days following improvements in the turbidity level of Laguna Lake and our treatment process interventions; hence, most of the affected customers now have uninterrupted supply,” it added.

Maynilad said Laguna Lake provides 8% of its raw water supply which is tapped to serve customers in the south, noting that the quality has become more variable in recent years.

“We will keep working closely with all Laguna Lake stakeholders to ensure that it is protected, and that it continues to serve as another viable, alternate long-term supply source for Metro Manila water consumers,” it said.

Maynilad provides water and wastewater services to residents in most parts of the City of Manila; northern and western parts of Quezon City; western parts of Makati City; and the cities of Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, Navotas, and Malabon in Metro Manila.

It also serves the municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, as well as the cities of Bacoor, Cavite, and Imus in the province of Cavite.—AOL, GMA News