MANILA, Philippines – Without any prior advisory to its clients, Manila Water cut water supply in at least 6 Metro Manila cities and 7 towns in Rizal province from Thursday, March 7, to Friday, March 8.
Some areas in the cities of Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig, Mandaluyong, and San Juan experienced no water supply as early as Thursday morning, March 7
Also affected are the areas of Antipolo, Angono, Binangonan, San Mateo, Rodriguez, Taytay, and Jalajala in Rizal.
Ok ang sabi ng Manila Water, peak hours daw mawawalan ng tubig pero mula 7 pm kagabi wala kaming tubig. Ano po ba 'yung peak hours. Huhu tsaka bakit konti lang time na ibinigay sa amin para mag-igib nakakaloka naman. — Camille Magpayo (@millemagpayo) March 8, 2019
grrrr 6AM na and there's still ZERO water running in Pasig?? okay yes contingency plan but I don't think anyone is gonna survive if none of us know when water will start and stop working cuz manila water didn't announce specific times?????? — Paloma L. Laforteza (@loms_lvl) March 7, 2019
Manila Water issued no prior formal notice to all affected barangays. Their online advisory also did not include the specific dates and times of interruption. Instead, it only said its "2019 El Niño water supply contingency plan" will be in effect “during peak demand hours.”
“In light of PAGASA’s recent El Niño advisory and its threat to Metro Manila’s domestic water supply, Manila Water will be implementing operational adjustments that may affect water service across the entire East Zone. This is to help arrest the rapid decline of the water level at La Mesa Dam, due to limited inflows from rainfall,” the advisory said.
Some netizens vent out their frustration on social media.
badtrip, buong baranggay namin walang tubig. anuna mandaluyong? wala manlang anunsyo galing sa manila water?????!?!?! — Arki (@lnymmbt) March 7, 2019
A last-minute warning (blog entry has no mention of Mandaluyong), 9 hrs (so far) of no water, & profoundly useless customer service that doesn't even advise people of how long their hell will last. Go fuck yourselves, Manila Water. https://t.co/IzdSrZoix9 — Amy! Ami! Amé! (@amyslayer) March 7, 2019
Manila Water please do a rotation schedule of your no water supply!!! It’s been almost 24 hours and there’s no water at all. #hassle don’t apologise but instead resolve this issue. Rotation schedule is better than nothing at all!! Next time please inform us one day ahead. — Hyathea Caballero (@hyathea) March 7, 2019
In a radio interview on Friday, Manila Water admitted its failure and apologized to consumers. Dittie Galang, Manila Water’s communications manager, said they did not expect the rise in demand before the interruption.
Galang also said the simulation they did in the previous months changed.
“Paumanhin po doon sa mga customers sa Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan na nakaranas po sila nang pagkawala ng tubig. Hindi kami nakapagbigay ng abisong speciifc time dahil unexpected 'yung naging pagtaas ng demand bago po sila nawalan. Siyempre 'yung anticipation po, nagsimula na mag-ipon ng tubig," Galang said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(We apologize to our customers in Pasig, Mandaluyong, and San Juan who experienced a sudden loss of water supply. We were not able to give a specific time because of the unexpected rise in demand before the interruption. There was anticipation, and many started collecting water.)
"Nagkaroon ng kaunting artificial demand, hindi po nakapag [prepare] ng reservoir. Kaya nung sabay-sabay gumamit, wala na rin pong mailabas ang reservoir (There was a bit of an artificial demand, and the reservoir was not prepared. That is why when people simultaneously used water, the reservoir was unable to produce any.)
At least 60,000 households are affected but Galang said this is expected to rise in the next months, as they continue to adjust water pressure in their covered areas.
Mandaluyong: Buwayang Bato, Wack-Wack, Barangka Drive
Marikina City: Fortune, Nangka, Tumana
Pasig City: Bagong Ilog, Caniogan, Kalawaan, Kapitolyo, Oranbo, Palatiw, Pinagbuhatan, Pineda, Sagad, San Antonio, San Joaquin, San Miguel
San Juan City: Corazon de Jesus, West Crame
Quezon City: Bagong Lipunan ng Crame, Horseshoe, Immaculate Conception, Kalusugan, Kamuning, Kaunlaran, Kristong Hari, Laging Handa, Mariana, Nayong Kanluran, Obrero, Paligsahan, Pasadena, Pasong Tamo, Phil-Am, Pinagkaisahan, Roxas, Sacred Heart, San Martin de Porres, Santa Cruz, South Triangle, Valencia, West Triangle
Taguig: Bagong Tanyag, Bambang, Central Bicutan, Central Signal Village, Hagonoy, Ibayo-Tipas, Katuparan, Lower Bicutan, New Lower Bicutan, North Signal Village, Santa Ana, South Signal Village, Tuktukan, Upper Bicutan, Ususan, Wawa, Western Bicutan
Antipolo, Rizal: Dalig, Mayamot, San Jose, San Luis, San Roque
Rodriguez, Rizal: San Jose
San Mateo, Rizal: Ampid I, Ampid II, Banaba, Dulong Bayan 1, Dulong Bayan 2, Guinayang, Guitnang Bayan 1, Guitnang Bayan 2, Malanday, Maly, Santa Ana
Taytay, Rizal: Muzon, Santa Ana, San Juan
Jalajala, Rizal: Punta, Sipsipin
Angono, Rizal: Kalayaan, Poblacion Ibaba, San Isidro, San Roque, San Vicente
Binangonan, Rizal: Batingan, Bilibiran, Calumpang, Ithan, Darangan, Kalinawan, Layunan, Libid, Libis, Limbon-limbon, Lunsad, Macamot, Mahabang Parang, Mambog, Pag-asa, Palangoy, Pantok, Pila-Pila, Pipindan, San Carlos, Tagpos, Tatala, Tayuman
Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email firstname.lastname@example.org