MWSS: Duterte given wrong advice on Manila Water mess

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) outrightly said that President Rodrigo Duterte was given the wrong advice on how to act on Manila Water's supply shortage.

Duterte issued an order compelling MWSS and concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad to release water from the Angat Dam by 12 noon on Friday, March 15, good for 150 days.

However, MWSS Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said letting out a 150-day supply or some 600,000 million liters per day (MLD) was impossible.

"There is no such thing as 150 days [water supply]. Duterte was given the wrong advice. I have already corrected that and spoken to [Communications] Secretary Martin Andanar and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea," Velasco said.

Angat Dam supplies some 4,000 MLD, which is about 96% of the total demand of Metro Manila. Water has consistently been released to the two concessionaires.

The ongoing supply shortage is caused by La Mesa Dam drying up and water being unable to reach the aqueduct gates.

Moreover, the current infrastructure only allows up to 4,000 MLD to be released from Angat Dam. There is no way of further increasing that limit.

Sought for comment on Duterte's order, Manila Water said it is working on a statement with the MWSS.

The other day, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo had raised the possibility that the water shortage is "artificial," after receiving information that while Angat Dam is currently at a low level, it has not yet reached the critical point.

The MWSS and Manila Water already refuted similar "conspiracy theories." – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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