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MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Board imposed a P1.13-billion fine on Manila Water for the supply crisis that began last March.
The MWSS said on Wednesday, April 24, that it imposed the penalty due to the Ayala-led company’s failure to deliver 24-hour water supply to customers. The agency said this violated the concession agreement.
Of the total fine, P600 million will be for funds to develop new water sources, while P534 million is the penalty itself.
“The water shortage was an eye-opener and sad to say the new MWSS Board inherited this lingering problem, having assumed office only in February 2017,” MWSS Administrator Rey Velasco said in a statement.
The penalty imposed is on top of Manila Water’s self-imposed penalty of some P500 million for waiving fees of affected customers.
In a statement, Manila Water president Ferdinand dela Cruz said his company will abide by the decision of the MWSS.
“While we are not the root cause for the inadequacy of the raw water supply coming from Angat Dam which we are mandated to treat and distribute, Manila Water, as agent and contractor of water services of MWSS, hold ourselves accountable for our inability to provide our consumers with the usual uninterrupted water service,” Dela Cruz said.
The supply crisis has yet to be fully resolved, nearly 7 weeks since it began last March 7.
Manila Water said customers “in the elevated and farthest areas of the concession” are still experiencing service interruptions.
“As of April 23, we have made water available for at least 8 hours, at least at the ground floor level, to 99% of our customer base,” Dela Cruz said on Wednesday.
“We have narrowed the gap of our supply deficit which has been reduced to 57 million liters per day from a high of 150 million liters per day through various supply augmentation efforts. We reaffirm our commitment to work closely with MWSS to address the remaining water supply deficit.” – Rappler.com